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Alverno College students inspired by tragedy to help the homeless

Dec. 5, 2012

Alverno College students, moved by the discovery of the body of a homeless man, orchestrated a collection of clothing, blankets, food, money and more on Saturday, December 1. A school bus was parked on campus from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and students hoped to fill the bus with much-needed items. More than $600 in cash donations was collected, in addition to almost 600 pounds of non-perishable food items, almost 100 coats, multiple bags of clothing, over 40 blankets, cases of diapers, personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies. The donations went to three area homeless shelters: Hope House of Milwaukee, the Guest House of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Rescue Mission Joy House.
“There are so many small things we can do to help others, and when we all pitch in and help, those small things can add up to help make big changes, and I think we proved that this weekend,” said Melissa Thomas, the Alverno College student who organized the collection. “We have seen a tremendous amount of support from the community, and it is so wonderful to see people coming together to help those in need. This truly was an amazing experience.”
Thomas was part of a group of students who were taking part in a clean-up in Milwaukee’s McKinley Park on November 11 when two children, who were part of the group, discovered the body of a homeless man. The experience moved her. “We wanted to turn something negative into something positive, and we were going to do everything we could to help those living without even the basic necessities as much as we could.”
Donations can still be made on the Alverno College campus through December 8, and Thomas says it won’t stop there. She’s working on a project for early spring that she hopes will be even more successful than this collection.

About Alverno College
Alverno College, a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college for women, exists to promote the personal and professional development of its students. The college has earned accolades and respect internationally for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, and has consulted with three U.S. presidential administrations on accountability and outcomes in higher education. For two years in a row, Alverno College was ranked first in the Midwest for doing “the best job of educating undergrads” by U.S. News & World Report. Educators from throughout the world visit Alverno to learn about its proven, student-centered teaching methods.
Alverno offers more than 35 major program areas of study, including graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology and business that are open to women and men. For more information about Alverno, visit our Web site at or call 414-382-6100.

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