NEWARK, Ohio, Dec. 5, 2016 — Napping in class is usually frowned upon, but for one group of students it has inspired goodwill on campus. The Naps Against Poverty (NAP) student organization at The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) is using the afternoon siesta to bring awareness to homelessness in Licking County.
"It started out as a joke," said NAP President Beth Beattey, a third year majoring in health sciences. She was inspired by Justin Khol, coordinator for student involvement, who shared with Beattey the unconventional student organizations he's come across in his role. "I said 'I'm going to start a NAP Club, and we're going to take naps.' Justin said nobody was going to support us, but I decided to make a way for it to be supported."
Each month the organization selects a theme and a cause to which they donate. They began by hosting a napping hour on campus in exchange for pillows, blankets and air mattresses. They will deliver the items collected at the event and through individual contributions from faculty, staff and students to women's and men's homeless shelters in Licking County. In October, they expanded their focus to include children. They collected 10 boxes of clothes for the House of New Hope in Mount Vernon, an agency that places foster children in homes and assists with adoptions.
"We wanted to stay local, and we wanted to benefit the homeless which is why we chose the shelters," said Beattey. "Then we decided there was nothing for kids. One of our members is a former foster child, so we reached out and found House of New Hope. They were willing to work with us to do other collections so we could help men, women and children."
Now they are tackling two issues related to the winter months: cold weather and holidays. For the end of the year they will be collecting gloves and socks for the shelters as well as toys for the House of New Hope. Students will be attending the House of New Hope's holiday party later this month to hand deliver their gifts. Donations are currently being accepted in drop boxes located on the Newark campus.
Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that's challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State's more than 200 majors.