New UWL service aims to help students with basic necessities

Uwl Student
A student helper sorts through contributions for the Campus Thread clothing store, which opened in Common Grounds in November. The store offers free gently used clothing for UWL students, as well as those enrolled at Viterbo University and Western Technical College.(UWL Photo)

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — A new program with the moniker of “Eagles Helping Eagles” at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is intended to help cash-strapped students get necessities.
Such as pots and pans. Sheets and blankets. Maybe a slow cooker. Necessities that don’t sound like much, but can be huge to a student with a tiny budget.
Eagles Helping EaglesThe UWL Student Economic Success Committee created the program to help with such items, beyond a college student’s basic needs of shelter, food, clothing and transportation, said UWL Financial Aid Director Louise Janke, a member of the committee.
“We thought what if a student needed sheets and blankets?” Janke said. “What if a crockpot or pots and pans would assist with them making their own food to save money? Or, what if they needed a dresser or a specific size of winter boots?”
Amanda Gasper, coordinator of the school’s It Make$ Cents program, is spearheading the new initiative, in which requests for items from students, faculty and staff on their behalf will be sent through an online survey.
Jordan Jossie, a student employee and web editor for the UWL Financial Aid Office, created the website and survey to make sure it is student-friendly.
Item requests will be listed in an “Eagles Helping Eagles” column in the weekly Campus Connection. It Make$ Cents staff will coordinate pickup and delivery.
Planning for the new program began during the fall 2019 semester, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed its start, Janke said.
“COVID-19 did, however, reinforce the need for this type of student service,” she said.
Another project of the Success Committee is the Campus Thread clothing store, which opened in Common Grounds in November. The store offers free gently used clothing for UWL students, as well as those enrolled at Viterbo University and Western Technical College.

For more information or to make a request for a student, go to the Student Life website.

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