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coat drive

A warmer winter for Syracuse school kids, courtesy of Upstate Medical University

Students from STEAM at Dr King Elementary School will be a bit warmer this winter thanks to a donation of more than 450 new winter coats from the students and staff at Upstate Medical University.

The coat drive was held at Upstate during November and the collected coats were dropped off at Dr King School earlier this month.

Just a half-mile from the Upstate campus, Dr King School has a special bond the with the academic medical center. Upstate students have often visited the school to participate in science programs and fairs, so when Dr King students needed warm coats, Dr King administrators connected with Upstate to see if they could accommodate. 

“We were delighted to assist in this important project,” said Upstate MPH student Olivia Malvasi. “This coat drive is another step in the ongoing partnership with Upstate students to assist in the education of these students. They are only a short walk away from campus. As students at a STEM school, they are Upstate's future students, physicians, health professionals and scientists.”

Sara Vukojevic shared similar sentiments.

"I personally was very excited that we were able to fulfill a need the local community presented to us,” said Vukojevic, president of Upstate’s Docs for Tots group.  “This was a fantastic example of listening to the community and working in tandem as all community work should be.”

The coat drive was organized by the Public Health Interest Group, a student organization aimed at spreading awareness and knowledge of public health issues in the Central New York community and around the world, and Docs for Tots, a pediatric interest group that supports community activities to benefit children in need, such as the Kids Café for the CNY Food Bank.

Other significant supporters included Upstate students and employees Maxim Construction Services, National Grid, an anonymous donor, Team Upstate, A-M Electric, Target and the Center for Civic Engagement, especially Simone Seward and Armando Martinez


Caption: Making the coat drive possible were the talents of Sara Vukojevic, Yasmeen Awayda, Olivia Malvasi, Haley MacDougall and Melanie Ngo.