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LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

Student's 'whim' leads to some extra holiday cheer for Lawrence agencies

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The Center for Community Outreach, a student community-service group at KU, usually receives some items each holiday season from the direct-sales company Thirty-One Gifts to distribute to various Lawrence agencies.

This year CCO executive director Jill Wenderott, a junior from Alma, decided to see what would happen if she asked the company for many more items: almost 5,000. It was "on a whim," she says.

What happened was, the company said yes.

So this week and next, the CCO is dropping off hundreds of items to groups and agencies around town that will help people out in some way or another: 600 backpacks for the Lawrence school district; 450 more backpacks to the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence; 275 backpacks and thermal tote bags to Ballard Community Services; stuffed bears, blankets and hooded towels to the Success by 6 Coaltion; and a whole lot more.

In all, about 4,750 items will go to more than 30 agencies around Lawrence.

"We've never been able to do this before," Wenderott said.

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