Winter is quickly approaching, but some of Knoxville's citizens are not prepared.
Alongside five other campus organizations, college radio station WUTK The Rock has partnered with a local business to remedy this problem, holding its first coat drive, running now through Oct. 28.
"WUTK feels very strongly about being a positive influence not only on campus, but for Knoxville and Knox County," said Benny Smith, general manager and program director for WUTK. "This is just one of the many ways throughout the year that we try to help our community, and especially the less fortunate around us."
All coats received through the drive will be given to Knoxville Area Rescue Mission's outreach program Coats for the Cold.
"You know, if it's just one coat, that helps," Smith said. "But, we already have about 25 or 30, and would love to end up with at least 100."
Rachelle Blake, a junior in journalism and electronic media, has coordinated the event for WUTK and is pleased with the response the drive has garnered.
"We already have two whole boxes full of coats that people donated," Blake said. "I know that one of the fraternities we are working with already has a whole bag full of coats for us."
In Smith's opinion, WUTK's coat drive is one way for the radio station to fulfill a commitment to community service.
"It is very important to all of us here at WUTK to give back to our community, especially since it is our listeners and sponsors who keep the station open and on the air through their donations," he said.
The radio station's other partners for the event include: Delta Gamma, Sigma Kappa, Pi Kappa Phi, Iota Phi Theta and UT Impact. "It is great to be able to get other student organizations involved, as well," Smith said. "We have a great student body at UT, and this project is one way to prove it."Garth Malone, a WUTK student deejay and junior majoring in journalism and electronic media, sees the coat drive as a way to affect positive change in a simple way."
For many of us, having a nice, thick coat during the winter is something that can be taken for granted, but for those who lack a coat, the winter can be a harsh time," Malone said. "So I think it's important for anyone who can help to help."
Marc Nelson Denim Company, owned and operated by Knoxville native Marcus Hall, will be sponsoring WUTK's Monday broadcast from Pedestrian Walkway. Hall's company wanted to make the event something to remember."
They had the idea for a coat drive, and we took the ball, and ran with it," Smith said.
The remote broadcast will serve as a drop location for coat donations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday. Members of the campus community who choose to participate will receive a discount of 30 percent on their next Marc Nelson Denim purchase, which Malone calls "a nice incentive."
"MND will also have free t-shirts, and you can even try on some of their very cool designer jeans while you are at the remote," Smith said.
In addition to Monday's donation opportunity, students, faculty and staff can bring old coats to the permanent drop location at WUTK's offices in Andy Holt Tower. Donations received at this location are also eligible for the MND discount.