March 25, 2014

Students seeking to fill spring cheer baskets

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. --The Social Work Student Alliance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is collecting donations for spring cheer baskets to make this season happier for area families and animals.

Organizers of Spring Cheer Basket Initiative 2014 are hoping to collect enough items to make hundreds of cheer baskets that they will donate to Caritas Family Solutions, The Women’s Center Inc., and the Humane Society of Southern Illinois.   The university community and public are welcome to donate items between Monday, March 31 and April 11. 

During the inaugural basket collection in 2013, students collected enough items to fill and distribute more than 200 baskets.  This year’s goal is lofty with an aim of distributing 700 baskets. 

Organizers are collecting an assortment of items including small toys, school supplies, full-size and travel-size toiletries, jump ropes, stuffed animals, coloring books, blankets, books, candles, tote bags, baskets, candy, dolls, feminine products, baby items, scarves and bath sets.  They are also seeking donations of all sorts of animal supplies including leashes, food dishes, pet treats, dog and cat food, toys, paper towels and 30-gallon garbage bags. 

Drop-off sites include:

  • School of Social Work office in Quigley Hall, Room 6.
  • College of Education and Human Services administrative office, Wham Building, Room 122.
  • Morris Library, circulation desk.
  • University Village Apartments office, 800 E. Grand Ave., Carbondale.
  • The Newman Catholic Student Center office, 715 S. Washington, St., Carbondale. 

Additional information on the project, including a list of suggested items, is available at Spring Cheer Basket Initiative 2014 on Facebook, or contacting Lea Metz by email at or 708/299-0978, or Lauren Prusa at or 708/752-1501.