Blanket Drive Brings Warmth to Homeless
December 11, 2006 11:08 AM
While many SF State students will be heading home for the holidays to the comforts of their families, others will be attempting to blanket homeless strangers in warmth.
SF State students Nadia Dao and Roy Kim are partnering up to run a two-week campus holiday blanket drive, which is intended to provide assistance for the homeless and their children in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Pablo.
The drive is Dao’s brainchild and resulted partly from her medical experiences as a volunteer, where she witnessed the long-term health effects of homelessness.
“Seeing a CT scan of damaged internal organs like the kidney, liver and bone osteoporosis revealed that living on the streets is rougher than we can even perceive of it,” said Dao, who is pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration at Capella University. “I have sympathy for the homeless and children of the homeless because they are human too.”
Once the drive is over on Dec. 17, Dao will pick the blankets up from SF State and drop them off at homeless centers and children’s shelters in the Bay Area.
Dao is also planning on organizing a blanket drive on the UC Berkeley campus in January.
As a class of 2005 graduate from Berkeley, Dao is a post baccalaureate student who is taking classes at SF State under an informal pre-medical student program.
Kim, who is also a post baccalaureate pre-med student at SF State, will be collecting monetary donations and blankets from the East Bay Baptist Church he attends in Berkeley and contributing it along with the blankets donated on campus.
Kim said the primary motivation for him to take part in the drive is his faith in Jesus Christ.
"I want to act out my faith by doing good deeds," Kim said.
Earlier this semester, Dao posted a message asking for help with the drive on the American Medical Student Association at SF State forum, through the Yahoo Groups Web site.
Dao said Kim was one of the few people on the forum who replied and offered to help out.
“Not a lot of people were interested in helping,” Dao said. “I was kind of surprised.”
A week before Thanksgiving break, Dao said, she became sick with the flu. She’s not sure how she got it, but remembers how cold she was one evening sitting in her car and waiting for her next class with nothing to keep her warm.
“Up to that point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the blanket drive,” said Dao. “I was very cold and that was in my car, so I can only imagine how cold it is for the homeless on the streets.”
Blankets can be dropped off at the box located in front of the information desk at the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
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