By Frank Rosa
CCC Journalism Program
The Camden County College Coat Drive boosts self-esteem in the lives of the underprivileged.
The student government, South Side Vendor and Phi Theta Kappa are putting smiles on the faces of many by the hundreds of coats that are donated every winter.
Over the last decade, Jacqueline Tenuto, assistant dean for student development and support, has been in charge of the coat drive, which this year is taking place from Nov. 2 to Dec. 11.
“We get coats from all different kinds of people. Every year it changes depending on what the supply is. This year a dry cleaner from a local town went out of business and they gave me all their clothes nobody ever picked up,” said Tenuto. “We have international students playing for our soccer team that do not have a coat, so they are going to have the first crack at coats.”
As the winter season approaches, the number of donors will increase because once the temperature drops, folks will put on their jacket and realize it does not fit or they do not like the style anymore.
“In years past we usually got over 200 coats per year,” said Tenuto. “The only kind of coat we don’t want is a dirty one, something that you would not put on yourself. One year somebody donated a jacket that smelled like cats. Since I am allergic, it didn’t stay too long.”
Students are also commending and recognizing the contributions by Camden County College. Communications Major Paige Glen stated, “I like the fact that there are people in the college that care and want to be involved in the community. You might not have enough money for a coat or you just do not know who might not have a coat.”
As long as Tenuto helped one person, that is enough satisfaction for her.
“Giving back is important, but to see someone’s face who does not have a coat and put one on – One year Dr. (Raymond) Yanuzzi, our college president, gave us his dress coat, because he lost a lot of weight. I saw a man put that coat on and it looked like he was Superman, strutting as if he was the president,” said Tenuto.
The coat drive will take place Nov. 2 to Dec. 11 in the second floor lobby of the Community Center on the Blackwood campus, the lobby of the Rohrer Center on the Cherry Hill campus, the lobby of College Hall and the first floor of the Camden Technology Center on the Camden campus, and the lobby of the Regional Emergency Training Center in Sicklerville. For more information, call the Office of Student Life and Activities at 856-227-7200, ext. 4282. The donations will be given to the Dreams of Tomorrow Organization in Sicklerville.