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Changing the world ‘oneshirt’ at a time


More than 100 universities and colleges from 35 states, including UH, will mobilize thousands of student volunteers to make a difference during SustainU’s “oneShirt National Collegiate Clothing Drive,” to be held Feb. 21 and 23.

During the two-day event, volunteers will distribute door hangers in and around UH asking people to leave out clothes for donations. The donations will be picked up, weighed and stored at UH and later shipped to several Goodwill locations around Houston to benefit back-to-work programs.

Donating will not only help the underprivileged, it can also serve as a good volunteering opportunity for students, Kate Gaviola, UH Student Government Association director of external affairs, said.

“As a student, I receive at least one new shirt per month from university events, programs and organizations,” Gaviola said. “Not only does donating free up space in students closets, it also teaches students to reach out to their community, therefore creating a well-rounded student.”

This will be the first time UH will join SustainU, an American clothing company based in West Virginia that promotes recycling and eco-friendly practices through the textile industry, to provide for those in need.

“With the ongoing Tier One effort, this is a great opportunity for students to show that we care about the community,” Gaviola said. “Our community is our backbone. Without the Houston community’s support, we would not be the University of Houston. This is our chance to give back to our community and make sure that we are relevant to Houston.”

SustainU is already impressed with UH’s efforts to assist in the drive.

“This year is the first year that it expanded to more than 100 universities,” Anne Bowling, SustainU’s public relations official, said. “We’ve really been blown away by responses from the campus. Everyone has so much clothing that they don’t wear that others could use and I think that’s why the response is so high.”

Pride Patrol, Alpha Phi Omega and others have confirmed that they plan to volunteer for the charity event.

Chester Uzoma, a supply chains management senior who is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, is also considering participating.

“We donated a village in Ghana, so we’re all about donating,” Uzoma said. “We (Alpha Phi Alpha) would be willing to donate if it’s for a good cause.”

Participating organizations and others will be eligible to win a surprise along with bragging rights, nationwide recognition from news stations and a gift from SGA.

The winner will be determined by the weight of the clothes not by the amount brought in. Winners will be announced Feb. 24.

Contact Gaviola by sending an e-mail to [email protected]

For information on the competition, please visit sustainuclothing.com/oneshirt.


  • Jason B.

    Nice! Good job cougars!

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