Students are working to spread the warmth for those in need this winter season.
Students the Yale School of Public Health, School of Nursing and Yale College came together Sunday (February 3) to prepare more than 200 winter coats donated by Macy’s, 2,500 pairs of socks from Bombas, and almost 800 pairs of shoes donated by Soles4Souls.
The volunteers belong to the New Haven PAWS Project, a Yale School of Public Health sponsored student organization.
PAWS (Poverty Alleviation through Washing Soles) seeks to provide footwear and podiatric care to those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in New Haven. The PAWS Project engages the greater Yale community in events centered around foot health, including foot washing services and shoe, sock, and hygiene kit giveaways, and hosts events at St. Paul & St. James Episcopal Church.
This school year, PAWS has given away over 3,500 socks, 2,000 bottles of lotions and hygiene products, 300 winter jackets and over 1,000 shoes to those in need.
“There are so many people in need living in New Haven. And often, foot health issues are overlooked. PAWS fills this gap by providing new shoes, fresh socks, and hygiene products to those in need,” said Ryan Sutherland, an M.P.H. student at the School of Public Health and executive director of PAWS.
PAWS is planning to give away all of the recently donated coats on a first-come, first-served basis on Feb. 8 at St. Paul & St. James Episcopal Church. There will be three other events later this semester at which students will give out the remaining shoes, socks and foot hygiene products.