Clothing drive dresses students for winter

On the first official day of winter 2023, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington students were able to pick up some items to help keep them warm during the colder Wellington months.

Two people select warm clothing at the clothing drive.

‘Koha for coats’ gave students the opportunity to give a small donation and pick up some good quality warm clothing, which were donated by Te Herenga Waka staff. Just over $85 was donated through optional koha, and this will be given to the Wellington City Mission.

The Student Finance team hear first-hand from students about the challenges they are facing as a result of the cost of living crisis, says Paige Jarman, Manager of Student Finance.

“Our team wanted to help.

“We know that purchasing a quality jacket or pair of shoes can significantly impact student’s cashflow and can be a financial stressor this time of year.

“We wanted to run an event that would make an immediate tangible difference to student’s day-to-day lives.

“And thanks to the overwhelming generosity from staff donations, we were able to run a really positive, successful event.”

The event also provided an opportunity to educate students about what the Student Finance team do, how they can help, and to also share some financial literacy knowledge.

This event was a real partnership between the University’s Student Finance team and VUWSA.

“Collaborating with VUWSA to run this event made sense because they are also on the ‘front line’, and know the struggles students are facing,” says Paige.

There are plans already underway to run clothing drives next Trimester at both the Pipitea and Te Aro campuses.

Next time both staff and students will be asked to donate any unwanted good quality warm clothing, says Marcail Parkinson, VUWSA’s Welfare Vice President.

“We collected 50 large bags of clothing from staff over the last week. We definitely weren’t expecting to receive that much, and the event went really well.”

Among the jackets, jumpers, shoes, and beanies were other helpful items like blankets and hot water bottles too. Only a small amount of donated good were left at the end of the day.

Staff were very generous with what they donated, but one other way Marcail suggested staff can help students is to have the knowledge to be able to connect them to the support available to them.

“It’s important to encourage students to reach out and get help if they need it. Staff should equip themselves with the knowledge about what services and support are available on campus.”

More information about what services and support both Te Herenga Waka and VUWSA offer to students can be found on their websites.

Student Finance and VUWSA would like to thank all staff who donated or otherwise contributed to the event.

If you have any feedback about this event, please contact