Basic Needs Hub to host free gear and goods event


Quentin Blais

Saale Pearson, a worker in the Loop Basic Needs Hub office, stocks a shipment of supplies that will be given away at the event.

The Basic Needs Hub will host a free gear and goods event on Jan. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Lincoln Park Student Center in Room 120AB.

At the event, the hub will be offering students free winter gear such as gloves, hats, snow boots and winter coats since it is getting colder in Chicago and not everyone can afford winter gear. The hub is also offering students preservable food items for free. 

There will also be a resource fair at the event which will include several departments across the university that provide basic needs related services to the students, according to Jen Fox, the Associate Director of Strategy, Assessment and Initiatives for Housing.

“While we have over 1,500 items that will be available for free, we have no idea how long inventory will last so we ask for patience and understanding if we run out of a particular item quickly,” Fox said.

Junior Katie Holloway said she plans to attend the event to pick up “basic items like towels, sheets and a winter jacket.”

“If someone can’t afford a new jacket or anything along those lines, DePaul is really great at stepping in for those who need help,” Holloway said.

Holloway said the Basic Needs Hub has been a great resource for her in the past. She said she used the basic needs hub for items when times were tough, mostly after her father passed away a year ago. 

Holloway also said the event is coming at a perfect time because “it’s getting colder in Chicago.”

“I know that deep down everyone falls on short times and that happened to me over the past year and I don’t want to be in the same boat as last year,” Holloway said.

Most of the items that were donated to the event were donated by Carol Bernick, CEO of Polished Nickel Capital Management and DePaul alumna. Bernick was not available to comment but Fox and Holloway both mentioned their appreciation of her generosity.

“We have also had items donated from trustees, faculty, staff, parents, and students, mainly through our amazon wishlist,” Fox said.

Fox said that the event was in progress for several months but the hub needed collaboration for it to happen.

“Until we connected with Office of Multicultural Student Success staff and Career Center staff, it seemed impossible,” Fox said. “Collaboration on this event truly shows how the mission of the university is woven throughout different departments.”

Rick Moreci, Director of Housing, Dining & Student Centers, said he is very excited about the event and loves seeing how the DePaul community is able to help students. 

Fox said that she is hoping this will become an annual event that the Basic Needs Hub puts on. She said she would like for the event to be done on both the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses in the future.

Holloway mentioned that in the future she would like to see more items that are being given out at the event be given out in the hub on a regular basis.

“[I would like to see more] hygiene products, maybe some basic first need kits or gift cards for food [and] groceries as times are tough for everyone at this point,” Holloway said.

For those interested in attending the event, students can register on DeHUB prior to attending. 

For those who are interested in how to help support the Basic Needs Hub, people donate items, either that are already owned or that are able to be purchased through the Basic Needs Hub’s Amazon wishlist. People can also donate monetary donations to the hub on Inspire DePaul’s website.