By SELENA SEABROOKS
The Dallas Examiner
Comfort for College is a program that helps to provide bedding and other essentials for students as they prepare for college. The program was created after Kenice Davis attended a banquet at South Oak Cliff High School. She explained that while at the banquet, she saw a student and wondered if the youth had the basic necessities to go off to college.
“The coaches, you know, prepare them for the sports life, but is this kid going to have a comforter, sheets, toiletries, washing powder, detergent? Is this kid going to have the basic necessities? That kid weighed on my heart so heavy,” said Davis, a program director at the L.I.R.A. Group, a nonprofit organization focused on mentoring youth and young adults in underserved areas.
After speaking with two friends – Courtney Jones, the group’s president, and Dionne Hilliard, vice president of operations, who had similar concerns – Comfort for College was created under the organization’s umbrella.
The goal of the program was to provide college-bound students with essential items to assist them in getting started with their collegiate life. Additionally, it seeks to offer continued support to past program recipients who have chosen to remain enrolled in college, according to Davis.
The program initially started by helping 10 students from South Oak Cliff. In its second year, the program assisted nearly 15 students from DeSoto High School. This year, the program’s third giveaway, open for all students to apply.
Davis, who is also the program director for Comfort for College, explained that at the end of each graduation year, the program announces the giveaway via social media and word of mouth. Students are asked to submit an essay to be considered as a recipient of the program. This year the program will help 14 selected college-bound students with the items collected during an upcoming donation drive.
The annual drive is set for June 12 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, located at 2922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Organizers hope to collect essential items, including but not limited to, laptops, XL twin bed sheet sets, comforters, totes, towels, cleaning supplies and hygiene items. Gift cards and monetary donations are also welcomed. For those who are unable to attend the drive but would like to donate items, donations can be dropped off at the community center before or after the drive.
“We just love doing what we do,” Davis said. “I love helping our community out. Giving back, it’s just something we love doing. The community, our friends, our family have been nothing but showing major support. People have been dropping things off. People have been donating. There’s no way we can thank people enough.”
More information about the Comfort for College program can be found at https.//www.liragroup.org.