Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

First-years create children’s coat drive

After volunteering with Opportunity Kicks Tutoring (OKT), first-year students Clare Stephenson and Anna Tegge were inspired to create a coat and winter clothes drive to donate to the children they tutor.
OKT is a local nonprofit organization devoted to providing opportunities to underprivileged multi-ethnic youth through competitive soccer. Both Stephenson and Tegge volunteer with the program, tutoring and coaching the children once a week.
Stephenson and Tegge said they were inspired not only by these children’s lack of winter clothing, but also by their generosity on a day-to-day basis.
“These kids are immigrant kids from the Quad Cities area, many coming from not-so-awesome economic situations, and some of these kids are the most generous kids you’ll ever meet,” said Tegge. “They might sometimes be hungry at home, but they’re always willing to share with you.”
The girls got involved with the OKT through their background in soccer, Stephenson having coached previously and Tegge playing for the Augustana’s women’s varsity team.
The coat drive Stephenson and Tegge organized took place at the beginning of December in the Brew by the Slough. The pair collected over 100 items including coats, snow pants, hats, scarves and gloves. Donations came not only from students, but also from faculty and staff on campus.
Stephenson said working with the kids has changed her perspective.
“Finding something that you’re really passionate about makes you want to keep going back,” said Stephenson. “Working with the kids made me change my major completely.”
The pair foresees OKT pairing up with the Augustana community in the future to help the refugee children in the Quad Cities area after the success they had with the coat drive.
Tegge said currently, the children are given a book at the end of the year, but that more fundraising could produce even better results.
“I think it would be really great to do a book drive in the future,” said Tegge. “Right now, we provide the funding (for the books), and it would be really awesome if we could have a larger book supply or teachers’ input on what books to get.”
While the coat drive officially ended Dec. 5, Stephenson and Tegge are still taking donations. Contact Stephenson and Tegge at [email protected] or [email protected].

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First-years create children’s coat drive