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Assistance League of Newport-Mesa initiates project “Duffles of Dignity” for OCC students

Assistance League of Newport-Mesa is at it again! For more than 80 years, their organization has focused on programs that benefit families and students in the community. Their most recent project is called “Duffles of Dignity,” designed to improve the lives of 130 local Orange Coast College students.

assistance league supplies

Photos courtesy of Assistance League of Newport-Mesa

Duffle Bags will be filled with supplies for OCC students

It was a set of serendipitous circumstances that brought Assistance League member Linda Colleran and OCC Care Coordinator Jacqueline Maraya and Student Equality Specialist Tuan Vo together to brainstorm ways Assistance League can help the housing insecure students at OCC.

assistance league tree

(L-R) Assistance League members Linda Colleran and Erin Kim welcoming Tuan Vo and Jacqueline Maraya from the OCC Cares Initiative. Vo was the guest speaker at the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s holiday luncheon.

The OCC Basic Needs Center offers a variety of services to OCC students to help them meet their basic needs, which refers to the most essential resources required to thrive as a student. This includes access to nutritious food, clothing resources, stable housing, transportation resources and financial wellness resources.

assistance league towels

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Towels for “Duffles of Dignity” project

One area they needed to address: showering issues for housing insecure students. The proposed solution: “Duffles of Dignity” became the latest outreach project for Assistance League of Newport-Mesa. The duffle bags are filled with towels, washcloths, socks, a beanie, lots of hygiene items and most importantly, a combo lock. Students can take the duffels to the gym and use the lockers and showers without worry.

Vo and Maraya attended the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa December holiday lunch meeting to provide members with more information about their group and what they are doing for students at OCC. They were happy to learn that the duffles are already in use. They received a heartwarming message just this week from a thankful student who had just finished finals and is getting ready for the holidays.

Their tagline is, “Transforming Lives and Strengthening Community,” and they look forward to working with OCC and other community partners in the coming year.

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