Student organizations are expanding a clothing donation initiative to collect hygiene products and create a basic-needs redistribution center on campus.
Good Clothes Good People, a nonprofit organization that redistributes donated clothes locally, collaborated with student groups, such as Bruin Visual Arts Club, Hunger Project at UCLA and the LGBT Campus Resource Center, to expand its clothing donation bin program this year.
Robert Watson, a second-year political science student and head director of GCGP, said the organization now operates six clothing bins on campus. Three of the six bins are permanently located in the LGBT Campus Resource Center, Kerckhoff Hall and the James West Alumni Center.
The other three bins are used by several student organizations, such as MEChA de UCLA, the Stamps Scholars Society and the Undergraduate Students Association Council general representative 1 office, to collect donations for their clothing drives.
Watson said the project has received more than 1,000 pounds of clothing donations since it started in January.
“Our bins, especially the one in Kerckhoff, fill on a biweekly basis,” Watson said.
Watson said GCGP is also working to place bins on the Hill, but it has been unable to do so because UCLA Residential Life has concerns regarding how the donated clothes would be processed.
“Because we didn’t have a space established for the clothes to go, they said, ‘Nope, we are not going to collaborate,’” Watson said.
Josh O’Connor, assistant director of leadership and involvement for ResLife, said GCGP must first receive approval from UCLA Housing and the fire marshal before ResLife can accept the organization’s proposal to expand their program.
“We never denied nor approved (placing bins on the Hill), but it can be up to future considerations,” O’Connor said.
The clothing drive initiative also expanded to provide other basic-needs products. GCGP began collaborating with Hunger Project at UCLA on May 21 to attach collection bins for hygiene products onto the clothing donation bins, Watson said.
Kienna Qin, a first-year statistics student and the advocacy director of Hunger Project at UCLA for 2018-2019, said the project will collect the donated hygiene products during week 10 to donate to organizations dedicated to helping homeless individuals, such as The Shower of Hope, which provides mobile showers.
“In the future, I’d like to see (hygiene services) extend to on-campus resources, such as Bruin Shelter,” she said.
Watson said GCGP is working to secure a permanent space at the Student Activities Center to give students access to donated clothing and basic-needs products.
“There’s no place like this that provides clothes for students, hygiene products and menstrual products all in the same place,” Watson said. “We’ve been working to secure a space at the Student Activities Center for the past year. It’s been going well and we are still working it out with the SCUBA club, (which occupies the room).”
The new redistribution center will have mirrors, clothing racks and changing rooms, so students can walk in and try on clothes, Watson said.
GCGP has been donating their clothes to other organizations on campus, such as Bruin Shelter, an organization that houses about nine homeless students, and MEChA, an organization that supports Chicanx students, Watson said.
“(MEChA) collected a ton of our clothes to give to the care vans that were coming up for Mexican immigrants seeking sanctuary in United States,” Watson said.
Watson added that GCGP is also working with the LGBT Campus Resource Center to give students clothing that matches their identities.
“We are in collaboration with LGBT center’s Gender Gap Clothing Drive, which is for students undergoing transition who are trying to get clothes to match their gender identity,” Watson said.