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Emely Hernandez was working as a graduate assistant at Kean University when it was forecasted that the coming winter would be one of the harshest Union City, New Jersey, had seen. She realized that there was a great opportunity to “lessen the blow” of this harsh winter for those in need.
Together, Emely and a team of students worked to organize a winter drive, where they collected food, clothing, hygienic items, and water. They partnered with the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, who regularly works with communities in need, and knew how to distribute the items donated.
The desire to help during a hard winter was contagious, and over 50 students jumped on board to participate in the drive. The students collected over 170 items to be donated, nearly doubling their original goal of 100! In fact, the drive was such a hit that the students are planning to organize another in the spring.
Emely recognizes that when it comes to service, the most important thing is to “take initiative and act on it! When others see what is happening, they’ll want to get involved. We don’t realize how connected we all are until we see the positive domino effect of service.”
Do you know someone who selflessly gives their time to help others around them? Nominate them for a Goodness Grant! Each month we will choose one nominee and highlight them as the recipient of our Goodness Grant, which includes a prize of $1,000, to support them in their efforts. To read more stories, or nominate someone for a Goodness Grant, click here.