UMaine Student and Veteran Helping to Keep People Warm 

A University of Maine student has helped start a new program on the Orono campus.

“I know first hand what it’s like to go without. For a short time when I was a teenager, I was homeless, just because I didn’t want to be at home.”

Patrick Herbert is talking about how his past is making him want to help others in his community.

This winter he’s started a coat drive.

“The coat drive started after I saw students and people in the community didn’t have the funds in order to purchase the costs, and instead of asking, they were going without,”said Herbert.

With help from a few organizations, including the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, and InterVarsity, his plan came to life.

“I think there are a lot more students that are in financial difficulties than we think. There are a lot of students on campus that are really struggling to make ends meet, to pay for their classes, then to have the things that they need, and they will sacrifice a coat,” said Lisa Morin, coordinator for the Bodwell Center.

Adding the coat drive to the campus thrift shop and food pantry seemed like a perfect fit.

Having this become a regular program is something this freshman and u-s army veteran is hoping becomes a reality.

“To me, that gives him an ethic of service and giving back, which is something which is just part of who he is. He really wants to serve others, which obviously he’s shown by being in the army for the last six years,” said Morin.

“Whatever the reasons are, you know, people sometimes have a need, and I feel that if we can help others, we should help others,” said Herbert.

Any students that would like a coat can visit the Black Bear Exchange or the Bodwell Center.

They are also always accepting donations.