UCM senior makes positive community impact just weeks before graduation

Gavin Pickering, UCM student, Sonya Walker, Survival House, Nathan Pickering, UCM student and Gaven McKee, UCM student, pose for a photo with the items the three UCM students collected and donated to Survival House.

WARRENSBURG — Just weeks before graduation, University of Central Missouri senior Gavin Pickering, business major, is making a lasting impact on a Johnson County organization.

Gavin Pickering, along with Nathan Pickering and Gaven McKee, spent their Friday on Nov. 15 sitting outside Bi-Lo Country Mart collecting donations for Survival House.

The three UCM students collected items and monetary donations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We did get a sizable chunk, it was a pretty good turnout all things considered,” Gavin Pickering said.

He used the service as a leadership activity for a college course.

Gavin said a number of people questioned if the donations were really for Survival House or if it was just some college kids looking for a donation.

“He was very lucky that the weather was nice, it was beautiful day to stand out in front of Bi-Lo and ask for donations,” Sonya Walker, Survival House volunteer coordinator said.

Donated items included toilet paper, paper towels, medications, laundry soap and food items.

“This is fantastic because we get a lot of clothing donations and shoes and shampoos and things like that but toilet paper and paper towels are an on-going need,” Walker said.

She said those specific items are used at a rapid pace.

“When we have to go out and purchase it, that is less money that we have to pay towards prescription medications, buying prescription glasses for people, buying bus tickets, client assistance,” Walker said. “The donations we get allow us to use the rest of the money towards other things.”

This is not the only project Gavin Pickering is assisting Survival House with.

He is also helping the organization create an inventory system.

“We have a very generous community here in Warrensburg and have a wonderful relationship with the university,” Walker said.

Gavin said he heard about Survival House through a friend.

“Trying to get the word out,” Gavin said of why he picked to assist Survival House.

Along with the items, Gavin and his team also raised money for Survival House.

“It was a pretty good deal,” Gavin said.

The origination for the project began back in September.

“We are very grateful for the help he has given us and the products we have gotten from this,” Walker said.

Managing Editor of Digital Publishing Derek Brizendine can be reached by emailing derek.brizendine@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @DerekBrizendine.

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