Before the school year even began Jardyn Kaufer knew he wanted to make a difference in his community.
With the help of his fellow hockey teammates and frequent guidance from head coach Chris Howe, freshman Jordyn Kaufer started collecting clothes for Fargo-Moorhead’s Dress For Success program.
Wanting to make sure the project went smoothly, Kaufer and Howe did some pre-project research about the Dress For Success program in the F-M area.
“Right when we got together as a team, Jordyn told the team about what he was wanting to do,” Howe said. “Jordyn took it on but has asked for help when need be.”
Howe was surprised by Kaufer’s desire to get involved on campus right away.
“He hadn’t even had a class at Concordia and already wanted to serve the community,” Howe said. “As a coach I was grinning ear to ear.”
Sophomore Max Smith, and fellow teammate, heard about Kaufer’s idea and was excited to be a part of the project.
“My mom had done some work with (Dress For Success) in the cities, and so I was interested in it,” Smith said.
Howe feels this project is a great way for the team to get involved in the F-M area.
“We could have volunteered, but they chose to do something non-athletic,” Howe said. “There’s a whole other chapter they can be involved in.”
Smith hopes the team’s actions help women in the area become more involved in the business community.
“We hope to get more women interested and confident in business,” Smith said. “If they can’t buy business clothing they won’t be as confident.”
Kaufer’s project has caught the attention of several professors on campus.
“Barbara Whitteman has helped me collect about three bags of clothing,” Kaufer said. “A lot of business professors will bring in their old clothing. We also sent out a note to all the alumni coming to homecoming telling them about the project.”
According to Howe, Kaufer’s project also caught the attention of President William Craft.
“President Craft wanted us to be involved with the community,” Howe said. “(Craft) told Jordyn this is what the project is doing”
With assistance from other teammates, including Smith, Kaufer has created posters advertising the project and established drop-off locations across the F-M area. Currently the team has set up drop-off locations at Island Fusion, the atrium and the youth hockey rink.
Howe is pleased with the work the team has done in assisting Kaufer. However, he also likes how it has enabled the Concordia community to be part of the project as well.
“It is something that doesn’t limit your involvement if you’re on the hockey team or not,” Howe said.
Kaufer wants contributors to understand that not just anyone is getting their clothing.
“You have to fit certain criteria to get the clothing (income, resources),” Kaufer said. “Women receive one suit at the start. Then they get an additional suit a week before their interview.”
Kaufer hopes fellow students take a look at their clothing and seriously consider if they will ever wear the items.
“My main point is that people have clothing they don’t wear,” Kaufer said. “This clothing can help these women improve their quality of life.”
What started out as a simple idea has turned into a community success. To date, Kaufer has collected a total of 20 outfits. He is collecting until Oct. 30. The fact this project was started by a new member of the hockey team and has transformed into a community event brings happiness to Howe.
“Coaching isn’t just teaching them how to play hockey,” Howe said. “It’s teaching them to be involved in the community.”
Hello! My name is Allie Smeeth, I am currently a junior at Concordia. I am majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Communications. Throughout my time at Concordia I’ve been involved in Habitat For Humanity, the Concordian and am currently involved in the up and coming Family Weekend Committee. Other than doing school work, I enjoy reading, watching tv, and hanging out with my lovely fellow cobbers. I grew up in Germany and have lived in South Carolina, Nebraska and Minnesota for the past three years. After college I plan on going to grad school for communications and plan on working at a non-profit in the cities after I’ve completed graduate school.