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Bluejay Clothing Drive delivers ‘gift’ to local charities

November 10, 2021 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Piles of clothes that were donated at the Bluejay Clothing Drive in October.Elmhurst MBA student Holly Hayward wanted to volunteer her time and contribute to a worthy cause aligned with the university’s values. As it turns out, the Bluejay Clothing Drive she recently helped organize not only provided clothing for area residents in need, but also gave Hayward something valuable in return.

“Being part of the process from start to finish was very rewarding,” said Hayward, who helped Associate Professor of Business Kelly Cunningham plan and execute the campus clothing drive throughout the month of October.

Hayward ultimately delivered more than 100 bags of donated clothing to Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, which supports DuPage County PADS and other organizations in need of clothing.

“As always, the Elmhurst University team exceeded expectations,” Cunningham said. “I received so many emails from faculty and staff willing to support the effort.”

The Bluejay Clothing Drive called on the Elmhurst U. community members to drop off donations in collection bins around campus. Each Friday in October and the first Friday in November, Hayward and her mom picked up the donated clothes and delivered them to the church, where they sorted the clothing by size and gender. Cunningham also helped pick up and sort the clothes a few times throughout the month.

The church’s pastor, Rev. Traci Smith, called the clothing drive a “gift to the world.”

“One of the things we’re happy about at EPC is helping people who want to do good realize their vision in the world,” Rev. Smith said. “We love to help people serve others and do mission.”

The event’s success has Hayward thinking of future initiatives—perhaps a toy drive during the holidays. For now, she’s happy with what Elmhurst University accomplished for Elmhurst Presbyterian Church.

“Walking out of the donation room in the church on the last day was incredible,” Hayward said. “Seeing the tables covered with stacks of clothing really warmed my heart.”

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