In 2013, Graceland University Enactus had the idea of creating an on-campus supply closet to aid students. This idea became a reality in September of 2014 when the Graceland Supply Closet opened. This project is managed by the Enactus Supply Closet team (composed of five members), and a student human services intern. This school year, Kiera Porter is the team leader for the Enactus Committee and Olivia St. Claire is the student intern. This project is supported by Enactus, Campus Ministries, and TRiO, and is closed during official school holidays.
The Supply Closet exists to help Graceland students in need who live off campus or in the apartments. There is food, toiletries, school supplies, clothing, and more available. To utilize this resource, students fill out paperwork (available at the Supply Closet) and receive a signature from Campus Minister Mike Hoffman, TRiO coordinator Cathie Hosie, or from the Director of International Programs, Diana Jones. The Supply Closet places very high value on confidentially. It is located in North Hall, a building on the edge of campus. The hours of the Supply Closet are Monday 2-4, Wednesday 6-7, and Thursday 2-4. Students who have filled out the paperwork can come at any time during these hours.
To reach North Hall, cross College street towards the Graceland Thomas apartments, and follow the sidewalk past the water tower to cross over the bike path. Crossing the bike path, you are facing North Hall. The entrance to the Supply Closet is on the right and marked with a sign on the door. St. Claire and Porter describe the location as “close, but secluded”. The location is easily accessible from the main campus, but out of the way enough to give anonymity.
St. Claire says those utilizing the Supply Closet have been very respectful in only taking what they need.
Every couple of weeks, Olivia St. Claire goes to the Food Pantry distribution center in Des Moines to pick up food for the Supply Closet. Kiera Porter says they need toiletries the most, something she didn’t realize was so important before she started this project. The Enactus group has done several fundraisers for the Supply Closet. Near Christmas time at Midnight Munchies, they put out ornaments for guests to take. Each ornament was labeled with an item that the Closet needs. At the most recent Midnight Munchies, at the Pizza Shack, Enactus had heart decorations on the tables with items the Supply Closet needs written on them for students to take as well. For students who missed these events but still want to help, donations to the Supply Closet can be placed in the box outside the Enactus Office (which faces Info Central in the MSC).
Another project the Supply Closet team is working on is a Books For All program. The idea of this program is to have textbooks on closed reserve in the library so all students have equal access. The group working on this project is currently trying to determine which books will be most useful to students. They are currently considering math, science, and introductory level textbooks. They hope to have the books purchased and in the library for student use in the fall.
The Supply Closet team is undoubtedly making a positive difference at Graceland, for students who need basic living essentials to students who need textbooks. For more information on either of these projects contact Kiera Porter.
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