A donation of clothing this spring can mean more than just clearing out some extra closet space; it can give someone the opportunity to live a normal life.

Boise State’s Net Impact Chapter and The Arc are teaming up to host a clothing drive at Boise State to take place  April 21 through May 5. The Arc currently provides jobs and services to more than 600 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in southern Idaho alone.

“The goal is to make people as independent as their capabilities allow them to be,” said Brian Greber, board president of The Arc.

Clothes taken for the drive are accepted in any condition. Collection bins will be placed in the Student Union Building, the Boise State Recreation Center and the new College of Business and Economics Building.

All clothing donated by students will be sold to Savers Thrift Stores where it will be sorted, recycled, resold, or turned into rags and other textiles. Proceeds from selling these clothes go directly to the services provided by
The Arc.

“Sort of like the Salvation Army,” said Daniel Walker, service project coordinator for Net Impact.

Collection of the cloth is the principal revenue source for The Arc. It funds programs such as life skills training and provides support to vocational rehabilitation and their recreational vacation experiences program.

“There’s a wide range of individuals that have all sorts of different needs and potential capabilities,”
Greber said.

These individuals are given the opportunity to work in three structured programs: vocational rehab focusing on job placement, work enclaves that work in teams helping out local businesses, and in The Arc’s work services area where they do commercial printing and bake dog treats to sell for the organization.

“The ideal situation would be for them to progress through the program and get a full-or part-time job,” Greber said.

Not all members of the program end up taking that last step, however, but The Arc is structured in a way which enables those who are can eventually join the work force.

This is the first year Net Impact has partnered with The Arc bringing the clothing drive to campus, but their focus is long-term viability.

“We hope to develop an on-going partnership with The Arc,” Walker said. This will allow them to co-sponsor events.

The Arc has permanent clothing bins set up throughout Boise, but has so far been prohibited from soliciting at Boise State. Through a partnership with Net Impact they are finally able to do so.

For additional information about Net Impact or The Arc visit their websites.