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NIU Today | Huskie Closet opens as free clothing resource for all students

A student-led project collecting clothing for a campus donation has blossomed into a permanent service.

Huskie Closet launched as a pilot program this fall, initiated by Northern Illinois University students through the Center for Nonprofit Studies and NGOs. The idea had been in the works for a year, raised by a then-senator of the Student Government who wanted to provide winter clothing for his Husky.

Clayton Schupfer, a dual specialist in science politics and Spanish from Sycamore who plans to graduate in 2022, said: “With the support we’ve received to make it a staple on campus, Huskie Closet can continue to serve students sustainably while providing leadership, volunteer, and professional opportunities. “

Schopfer initially joined forces with Huskie Food Pantry and pre-existing used clothing supplier, Swap Don’t Shop, to realize his dream of driving winter clothing. Next, fellow SGA Senator Jacob Borg suggested Schopfer explore a partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Studies and the NGO.

“The center has a history on campus in supporting high-level student engagement activities,” said Alicia Chatemann, Ph. “Just like huskies-inspired community gardens – this effort can continue one semester later through institutional support and outreach to partners across campus. Huskie Closet is student-led, student-supported, and truly responsive to student needs.”

The philanthropy and fundraising chapter raised $5,000 in donations through a crowdfunding campaign to provide two paid internships for Treasury employees. The students designed the logo and promotional materials.

Huskie Closet is located in room 102 of the Chick Evans Field House athletics home. Complementing Huskie Closet with student-run workwear, Barsema’s Closet offers everyday wear comprehensively organized by size. Customers can shop for unlimited free items. Near the pantry, the locker operates similar hours on Wednesdays from 11am-1pm and Thursdays from 4-7pm

Staff, faculty, and the community are invited to donate clothing of all kinds to Huskie Closet — but especially NIU-branded Huskie gear, warm winter clothing, and fresh packs of socks or underwear. Donations can be made in the treasury, as well as at the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies at Zulauf 114 or at the Student Government Association in the OASIS space at Holmes Student Center.

As Huskie Closet develops a presence on campus, staff and students are encouraged to register as volunteers! Call [email protected] or 815-753-4410 for more information.


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