Newman students lead clothing drive for The Women’s Network

Nov 17, 2021
(From left to right) Skylar Jorgenson, Lizbeth Romero-Lopez, Aliyah Reeves, and Sadie Steiner
(From left to right) Skylar Jorgenson, Lizbeth Romero-Lopez, Aliyah Reeves, and Sadie Steiner

Four Newman University students are teaming up to collect clothing items and hygiene products for The Women’s Network.

The Women’s Network, previously known as the Women’s Initiative Network, offers job readiness and educational opportunities to survivors of domestic violence. It recently partnered with Dress for Success and now has the ability to provide professional attire for the women they serve.

A poster design of the women's coat and clothing drive for The Women's Network.
A poster design of the women’s coat and clothing drive for The Women’s Network.

New or gently used women’s coats, casual wear, dress clothing and shoes, as well as unopened hygiene products and brand new bras can be donated to the drive.

On-campus drop-off boxes are located in the Dugan Library, Bishop Gerber Science Center, Eck Hall, Sacred Heart Hall and De Mattias Hall. Off-campus drop-off boxes for The Women’s Network are located at two Sierra Pacific Mortgage locations in Wichita: 12221 E. Central and 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 200. 

“Anybody can donate, exchange or take clothes from the boxes we have set up in case they’re in need of clothes, too,” said Skylar Jorgenson, one of the Newman students behind the drive.

The women behind the drive

Sophomores Sadie Steiner and Aliyah Reeves paired up with first-year students Jorgenson and Lizbeth Romero-Lopez to bring the project to life.

Jorgenson, a student in the occupational therapy assistant program, attended a Dress for Success event over the summer with her father, Daniel Murphy, Newman’s web technology specialist.

“It was really inspirational,” Jorgenson said. “I told Dan that I really enjoyed it, and he was like, ‘Okay, well maybe we can get you more involved.’”

(From left to right) Skylar Jorgenson, Lizbeth Romero-Lopez, Aliyah Reeves and Sadie Steiner

Jorgenson asked her friend Romero-Lopez, an ASC Community Leadership Scholar and nursing student, if she was interested in helping. Murphy then reached out to biology majors Steiner and Reeves. Before long, the female power team of students established a donation drive to empower other women of Wichita.

Engrained in volunteerism

Romero-Lopez and Reeves both share a love for volunteering, and being Newman ASC scholars gives them each an excuse to find various service opportunities every semester.

Steiner also developed a love of volunteering at a young age, and donating time to worthy causes continues to carry through her college life.

“When I saw this opportunity, I thought it was really cool,” Steiner said. “Especially since it’s a project led by all women and it’s for women. It’s just really empowering.”

Jorgenson agreed, and shared that being on the receiving end of support makes the volunteer project even more worthwhile.

“I really enjoy helping other women in need, and it’s great that these therapists and social workers are helping these women to get jobs,” she said. “That way they don’t have to rely on other people and are set up for success in the future.”

To see a full list of items needed by The Women’s Network, visit the website.