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College of Engineering Donates Hundreds of Care Kits to 7Hills – University of Arkansas Newswire

From left: Karin Hickenbotham, Amy Shell, Sarah Burkes, Aaron Garst and Tamara Ellenbecker
In early December, the College of Engineering Staff Council challenged departments to see which one could gather the most donations to assemble "care kits" for 7Hills Homeless Center, a day center that provides services such as meals, food, clothing and hygiene items to homeless residents.
The response was enthusiastic, with the departments contributing enough goods to fill 55 shower kits, 55 hygiene kits and 70 food bags.
Karin Hickenbotham, an industrial engineering staff member who helped organize the drive, estimated faculty and staff members donated more than $2,000 worth of items.
"I'm overjoyed at the response from my colleagues and hope this will help provide some joy to people experiencing homelessness right now," she said. "It is also my hope we can make this a College of Engineering tradition."
Care kits piled high in a bin
Ad hoc groups of staff gathered to assemble the kits, which were delivered to 7Hills on Dec. 15.
"This is the first time Staff Council has organized an event like this, and I am so thankful to the College of Engineering employees who made it such a success! We decided to organize the drive in lieu of our annual holiday party, and seeing the college come together like this is truly something special," said Ashley Reeves, Staff Council president.
Dean Kim Needy echoed those sentiments.
"I'm so proud of our faculty and staff members for embracing this challenge to help people in our community and show them our support and respect this holiday season," she said.
As for the winning department, it was a close race. We received donations from staff and faculty across Bell, White, Cato Springs and the Engineering Research Center. The winning department is Biomedical Engineering! Their staff and faculty pulled together to gather over $500 worth of donations. A very close second goes to Computer Science and Computer Engineering. We will allow both departments to enjoy their bragging rights until next year.
Jennifer P. Cook, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, [email protected]
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