By Nylles Vernon |Staff Writer|
The SMSU Pride Center is hosting a clothing drive to help provide clothing to transgender individuals.
The “Out of Your Closet & Into Ours” clothing drive is devoted to helping students who are trying to find themselves and do not have access to gender-encouraging clothing.
Newly or gently-used clothing must be washed before donation.
Pride Center is an organization that focuses on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex students and their allies that welcomes all genders to a friendly environment.
They also curate school-wide events, as well as provide entertainment and workshops that benefit the LGBTQQIA community.
The drive is the Pride Center’s way of being open to students who feel worried about their appearance and how they identify themselves by providing them with attire that fits their specific gender style.
“We are constantly throwing clothing away, so why not give that to people who do not have access and would benefit from clothes that you’re not wearing anymore,” stated graduate assistant Raul Maldonado.
The aim of the drive is to encourage students that it is okay to be who they are and to be comfortable in their own skin.
When asked how she felt about the drive, computer science major Kim Aguilar replied, “as a student, I think that it’s a great idea that will give other students a more meaningful way to get rid of clothes that are just sitting in their closet.”
Maldonado oversees the “The Out of Your Closet & Into Ours” clothing drive and hopes that the donations will come in at a steady pace.
“Regardless of what you believe in, these clothing drives in essence really helps students out,” said Maldonado.
The Pride Center encourages students to donate any garments of clothing that they are no longer wearing to the clothing drive.
“I am hoping that coverage of the drive like this will push people forward who may be unaware or who have not seen the flyers to know that this is available and that they can donate and help,” continued Maldonado.
Some of the items will also be donated to non-profit organizations in local areas that are transgender inclusive, as well as individuals outside of campus.
“I’ve gotten several donations so far,” said Mazanado.
“We just started last week so I don’t expect it to really take off right away,” said Maldonado.
Even though the drive has only been going on for about a week, the Pride Center is hopeful that their efforts will have a positive reception among students.
Maldonado also added that
“a lot of times these students aren’t financially stable either, so you have to think about it in terms of helping other fellow students out regardless of where your clothing is actually going.”
“The Out of Your Closet & Into Ours” clothing drive started last Monday, January 9th and will carry out until the end of the winter 2017 quarter.
If you would like to donate any pieces of clothing to the drive, the Pride Center is located in the SMSU building, room 112 and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.