University of Akron Department of Student Life Collects School Supplies for Students Experiencing Homelessness

By Rachel Breece, Child and Family Development Specialist


Project RISE Staff Members Help Unload Supplies
and Get Information About the Collection Effort.


Project RISE from Akron Public Schools

This fall, the University Of Akron Department Of Student Life held their fourth school supplies collection drive for Project RISE. Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education) is a federally funded program through Ohio Department of Education.  It is a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools, local shelters and the community to provide supplemental educational services to children and youth who are experiencing homelessness.

The collection effort was coordinated by Alison Doehring, the assistant director of the Department of Student Life. From July to September, the school supplies were collected on campus. The donations came from students, staff and faculty members. All in all, almost 3,000 items were collected for children experiencing homelessness.

After the supplies were collected, they were delivered to Project RISE at the Akron Public Schools Administration Building. Some of the items were taken to Trinity United Church of Christ, where Project RISE has a room for clothing, uniform and supplies for students experiencing homelessness (by referral only). The rest of the school supplies will be kept at the APS Administration Building, where they will continue to be distributed throughout the school year. 

The Department of Student Life is committed to building community through collaborative learning experiences that provide students the opportunity to engage, serve and lead. Under the Department of Student Life, the University of Akron has more than 290 organizations focused on academics, the arts, athletics, science, music, leadership, service and more. 

Coming up in November, the UA Department of Student Life will host a week-long event for hunger and homelessness awareness. Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 16 – November 22nd, aims to bring greater attention to the difficulties that the homeless and hungry face on a daily basis and help to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness. For more information about the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, please contact Alison Doehring at  or 330-972-7352.  

The school supplies were unquestionably needed as the number of students experiencing homelessness continues to rise. According to Debra Manteghi, Project RISE Program Manager, close to 1,500 homeless children and youth were identified and served during the 2013-2014 school year. For more information on Project RISE and how you can help, please contact Debra Manteghi at 330-761-2969 or

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