Stocking Assembly Event Planned for Dec. 2

For the seventh year in a row, students in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Rho Tau Chi military service fraternity are committed to helping homeless veterans in Indiana County and western Pennsylvania through the Homeless Heroes Holiday Stocking Project.

The project provides toiletries and other necessities to homeless veterans at the holidays; the toiletries are “packaged” in Christmas stockings. More than 3,000 holiday stockings were assembled and donated in December 2022. Annually, the group collects enough supplies to fill about 2,500 stockings; altogether, more than 15,000 stockings have been distributed to homeless veterans over the past six years.

Rho Tau Chi’s 25 members are actively collecting donations for the project.

Items being sought include shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, plastic travel toothbrush holders, washcloths, individually wrapped bars of soap, plastic soap holders, $10 gift cards to Walmart or Giant Eagle, crew socks, razors, gloves and winter hats, 17- to 19-inch stockings, drawstring backpacks, and large cardboard boxes to use as donation boxes for local businesses.

“Stocking Stuffing” Party

Members of the community are invited to join the IUP students and community members on December 2 at 6:00 p.m. in IUP’s Pierce Hall for a holiday “stocking stuffing” party. Holiday cookies and other refreshments, donated by local businesses, will be part of the event. A visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus is also scheduled, with a children’s craft area.

Donations can be dropped off at the IUP University Police office at the Robertshaw building, 650 South 13th Street; the office is open 24 hours a day, every day. Donations can also be dropped off at the Military Science Department in Pierce Hall, 1140 Maple Street, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monetary donations can made with checks made out to Rho Tau Chi or via Venmo at Anastashia-Radlinsky.

Riley David, a senior medical imaging major from Mansfield, is past president of Rho Tau Chi and is leading the project for the second year in a row.

David, daughter of Krista and Bill David, is a 2020 graduate of North Penn Mansfield Junior Senior High School. In addition to her membership in ROTC and Rho Tau Chi, she is active with IUP’s Haven Project for domestic violence education and survivor support and participates in intramural volleyball and IUP blood drives.

“I joined Rho Tau Chi because I had a passion for community service, I got involved in my freshman year,” she said.

The stockings, once filled, are distributed to residents of the Indiana County Veteran’s Parsonage and to the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania and Shepherd’s Heart Fellowships and Veteran’s Home in Pittsburgh.

For more information, persons may contact David at