When looking into his closet a few years ago, Jay Bader ’22 saw a lot of clothing he no longer needed. New to the Upper Valley he wasn’t sure, at first, what to do with them and realized others may be in the same predicament. This inspired the community-minded first-year Geisel student to launch a clothing drive for Listen Community Services, a nonprofit providing vital support for people in the Upper Valley who are facing crisis.
Three years later, Bader’s initial idea, which also included collecting nonperishable foods for those in need, expanded from a few student volunteers and five collection box sites to 16 student volunteers placing and retrieving collection boxes in 18 locations across the Upper Valley.
“I think COVID inspired people to give more,” Bader says of the massive amount of clothing collected—enough to tightly pack eight SUV’s—along with more than 400 pounds of food for the Upper Valley Haven, a nonprofit agency providing temporary shelter and educational programming for homeless families and adults as well as food to anyone in need. “It was a lot of work, but what we achieved makes me happy—that we can do something with this much of an impact that helps so many people.”