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Bookstore helps less fortunate with “Hoodies for the Homeless”

In an effort to raise Thanksgiving spirit, the Oklahoma Christian University bookstore promoted “Hoodies for the Homeless” last Friday, Nov. 15.

After the donation of a hoodie, the bookstore gave a 25% off discount on a new one. The collected hoodies will go to Skyline Urban Ministries, an organization which helps people in the Oklahoma City area.

Although the event happened last Friday, store manager Katie Wright, said there is still time to make a donation. During the event, there was a basket located in front of the bookstore, where people could put their hoodies in and shop around for a new one with their discount.

“It didn’t have to be an OC hoodie,” Wright said. “It could just be any old hoodie that you had laying around. It happens every November, usually around Thanksgiving time. It’s trying to give thanks for what we have and being able to give it back to our community.”

In its second-year partnership with the Tree of Life Bookstores, the Oklahoma Christian bookstore collected about eight hoodies total.

“That was really good,” Wright said. “We did a student announcement about it, and I did a social media post, so I felt like the word got around a little bit.”

“They [Tree of Life] have been doing for several years,” Wright said. “Each store can pick a place that they want to donate to in their local area. We have five stores in the Oklahoma City area. Our stores are donating to different homeless organizations. It is corporate-wide, so there will be a bunch of hoodies.”

Matt Houston, the director of marketing of the Tree of Life bookstores, said although it is difficult to spread the word around campuses, he considerers the event a success.

“While we only collected eight hoodies this year at OC, in total across all of our campus stores this year, we donated 430 sweatshirts to local homeless shelters,” Houston said. “We have been doing this promotion for five years now and have donated over 2000 clothing items. Any time we can make an impact, big or small, in the local community, I’d consider it a success.”

Wright said the promotion of the event on campus is an opportunity for students and faculty to have an avenue to give it back to the community.

“It is a way for us to reward you,” Wright said. “If you want to do something special for the month, here’s an opportunity, also being able to get something new for yourself.”

Houston works closely with the general merchandise team creating the promotion, and said it is an important social action to the community.

“This project and promotion are an effort to give back to those in the community that are less fortunate,” Houston said. “Each hoodie donated is going directly to someone in the local community that needs support.”

Wright said the Skyline Urban Ministries, where the Oklahoma Christian bookstore will donate to, provides care beyond clothing.

“They also provide eye care,” Wright said. “They started as a food pantry, and their success enabled them to grow into doing eye exams and having the clothing closet. They give eyeglasses for those who are in need as well as being able to help them find jobs and being able to be a network for those who need some help getting back on their feet.”

The event is also promoted online for people off-campus.

“We give them our promo code online,” Wright said. “They can order hoodies online and we donate a hoodie on their behalf. It’s not just OC students. It is extended to our alumni and to our family who aren’t here locally, for them to be able to participate in this as well.”

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