By Haley Rose 
BELLEVILLE – With winter quickly approaching, Loyalist College  wanted to help students, faculty and their families keep warm in the upcoming months.
Carrie Bulgajewski, recruitment officer at the college, and Lauren Saulnier, a Child and Youth Care student, teamed up with the Campus Connect committee to make this idea a reality.
The first ever Warm Bodies Clothing Giveaway was held Wednesday. The giveaway was set up in the dining hall at Loyalist and ran from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Bulgakewski and Saulnier have been collecting donations of new and gently used clothing and winter apparel since early October.
Coats, toques, mitts, scarves and boots are just some of the items that were at the giveaway yesterday.
Apparel for all ages and genders was available.
Bulgajewski said she remembered how tight money was for her when she was a student. “I had a little girl when I was a student here and I definitely remember one time I had to decide if I was going to buy my daughter a winter coat or buy groceries. I was working to support us and I had my husband but it was tough. I know students are sacrificing something to be here, so I think if we can make their lives a little bit easier then why wouldn’t we?”
Bulgajewski said she thought the giveaway ran very well considering it was the first time it had been held. “I think we’ll definitely hold the event again. But we’ll probably do it every other year, simply because it gives people time to accumulate stuff. Because if we’re asking for donations year after year, we’re probably not going to get as much of a showing. ”
Loyalist student Jenna Taylor was one of many who took advantage of the giveaway.
“It means a lot to me to be able to have this clothing,” Taylor told QNet News. “I’m in the (Early Childhood Education) program and I need to be able to have a winter coat and snowpants to go outside with the children. It can be really expensive to buy that stuff.”
Student Glenn Dayton came out with a garbage bag filled with donations.
“It helps my family,” he said. “I have a wife and three kids. We would have had to get (the winter clothing) from somewhere … so it helps out.”
Dayton said the giveaway is great: “There should be more stuff like this. It helps to bring in the community and create bonds.”
Bulgajewski said she is already thinking of ways to make the event more successful next time, such as letting the giveaway run for a longer time: “Depending on how many donations we have, maybe leave it for a couple days. Then anybody who doesn’t have a class that day isn’t missing out. We put stuff out early yesterday to organize and even then we had people grabbing stuff.”
The work of Saulnier, the student ambassador for the event, was a big reason for the success of the event, she said. “She put her heart and soul into this. She did an amazing job.”