Hart Has Heart

Hart Hall clothing drive for refugees of conflictsHart Hall, the college’s Global Living and Learning Center, reached across borders last year in drives to collect clothing for displaced Iraqis and school supplies for children in Benin.

“College students don't necessarily have money, but many of them have stuff, so we looked for something students could donate,” said Becky Burch of the psychology department, a Hart faculty-member-in-residence.

Hart launched a drive that filled more than 90 large plastic bags with clothing routed to refugee camps in Syria.

A school-supplies drive arose when students who visited Benin through a study-aboard course returned to campus. "What we consider necessities they often have to do without," said Keith Davis, another Hart faculty-member-in-residence. “They have school uniforms because otherwise some children are so poor they would come to school naked." And children whose families were too poor to afford schooling "would be outside the window listening to teachers, copying what they saw on the chalkboard."

Hart’s residence director last year, Nina Monte, said she believed that the building and its program made the mindset and mechanism for such projects possible. "Students here get an opportunity to learn about poverty and problems in places they may never have even heard of and become passionate about causes, because of our program," she said.

Photo: Students, faculty and staff pack clothes for Iraqi refugees in Syria.

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