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Share what you wear serves hundreds in community

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 12/3/2022

For the 18 years, Iowa Central Community College has opened its doors to the community to host the annual Share What You Wear event.  

The 2022 event was no different as hundreds of families and individuals lined up in the early morning hours, braving the December cold before the doors opened to the event at 9 a.m.

Iowa Central began accepting donations for the event on November 1, continuing until set up for the event was complete at 4 p.m. on Friday. December 3.

Share what you wear began in 2003 as a joint effort by the Iowa Central Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and has since grown to include faculty, staff, student organizations and athletic teams coming together to take donations, set up, assist at the event and tearing down at the end of the day.

Rick Sandquist, a retired Iowa Central athletics/activity director and coach has been part of the event since it began and continues to return to campus each year to help out.

“This is something that is very near and dear to our hearts, we were part of it for a long time,” said Sandquist, who made the trip from Ankeny to volunteer for the event. “This started 19 years ago and it is neat to see the tradition continue. It is rewarding to know that Iowa Central keeps making it happen.”

Those who came through the doors could choose from coats, shoes, clothing, toys and various household items free of charge.  Free breakfast and lunch were also provided. Each child in attendance could chose one new toy or gift for themselves or a loved one and a wrapping station was also available.

Kris Nerem-Lowery, TRIO Student Support Services director, has assisted with the new gifts area for many years and enjoys seeing the excitement of everyone selecting a new item to take home or give as a gift.

“The best part is knowing that for some of these people, it might be the only opportunity to get a brand new gift at Christmas and we are part of that,” said Nerem-Lowery. “Seeing their smiles and excitement as they pick out something new always renews my Christmas spirit for the season.”

Nerem-Lowery estimates that more than 500 people came through the doors for Share What You Wear in the first hour and that it served nearly 900 individuals by the end of the day.


Share what you wear serves hundreds in community

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