GSSWA keeps community outreach consistent

SIUE’s Graduate Student Social Work Association (GSSWA) has made its effort to support and uplift those in the community a never-ending commitment. The organization’s most recent event was a successful recreation drive for Community Living, a nonprofit organization in Saint Charles, Mo.

GSSWA Chair Tracy Mathias poses with some of the items collected during the organization's recreation drive.

GSSWA Chair Tracy Mathias explained that the goal of the drive was to collect board games, card games, art supplies and similar items that the children to whom the organization caters would enjoy.

“One of our officers, who actually works at Community Living, expressed the need to us,” said Mathias. “…this organization provides respite care to parents of children with disabilities and special needs.”

Respite care, according to Community Living’s website, involves providing “… parents and caregivers a break from the day-to-day routine of providing care for their loved ones with special needs.”

Mathias’ GSSWA peer expressed that there was a need within Community Living for additional recreational supplies.

“When they [Community Living staff members] were watching the special needs children, they would have a bunch of games for them to play with but a lot of the games would have missing pieces and broken boards,” said Mathias.

The GSSWA’s drive was held from Jan. 10-25. The results were indicative of the GSSWA’s continued commitments to community outreach as well as the unwavering support of social work faculty and SIUE students.

“The results were great. We received a lot of donations,” said Mathias. “Altogether, I think there were around 10 board games, tons of art supplies, tons of craft supplies, a lot of card games and things like that.”

Mathias said that the drive even garnered cash donations which the GSSWA used to purchase additional supplies for Community Living.

The GSSWA is steadfast in its goal to keep community outreach consistent.

“Every month we’ll have something.” said Mathias. “This month (February) we’re having something called ‘Sweaters for Sweethearts.’ We’re looking for donations of gently used clothing … sweaters, pullovers, long-sleeved shirts … anything that would keep children in need warm in the winter time.”

The Sweaters for Sweethearts drive kicks off this week.

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