The free store is here for winter needs

With winter just around the corner, warm clothes, jackets and gear are crucial. The free store in Drew Science Center is here to offer a helping hand.


Cait Quinn
In addition to winter clothing, students can find undergarments, shoes, utensils and dorm essentials as well as so much more.

Kathryn Robinson, Reporter

Minnesota winters are brutal. The snow, ice and frigid temperatures create a landscape of bleak and freezing conditions. Snow pants, gloves, hats, scarves, jackets and boots are a necessity during a Minnesotan winter, but all of that gear can get pricey. Luckily, the free store in Drew Science Center is here to help students. 

Instruction on how to make an appointment and visit the free store
Cait Quinn

Interested in visiting the free store? Here is all the info needed to make an appointment or donate items.

It is difficult to gauge when the weather will turn and when to buy all of the necessary winter gear. First-year student Kate Kelley is a native Minnesotan. However, in terms of having winter gear, she isn’t sure if she has everything she needs. “It’s one of those things that I won’t know I need it until it’s too late,” Kelley said.


Out of state students from warmer climates likely do not have everything they need for the winter.  Kelley expressed her concern for students coming from warmer climates. “I think they have some gear, what they think is good gear for Minnesota. If they’ll actually be okay when the weather turns, we’ll see.” 


First-year student Tjessa Arradondo shares similar concerns for out of state students. “I know that there are probably people that have come from warmer places that might be looking for winter clothes,” Arradondo said. 


Sophomore Marcella Meneguzzi, originally from California, loved her first Minnesota winter but did not have all she needed to stay warm. “I should have brought gloves because I didn’t anticipate having my hands freeze just by walking across campus,” Meneguzzi said. “I was mostly surprised at how cold it could really get.” 


Although many students are not aware of the resources Hamline provides, in instances when you are caught off guard by the cold or need a dress or suit for an interview, the free store located in Drew Science Center is here to help students with clothing and other items whenever they need it. 

A selectin of the free items at the store and showing how they are on display hanging up on the cork board while shoes are in a tidy row on the floor
Cait Quinn

If students do not have time to make an appointment, they can grab free items off the bulletin board outside DSC 117.

Karl Hahn, a GreenCorp member currently serving at Hamline, has been helping students with the free store. “The free store was pioneered by students,” Hahn said.  


Similar to a thrift store, students are welcome to come in and find clothing items. There is no cost to purchase any items and the free store has the gear necessary to endure hard winters. “Students set out bins where other students could donate used clothing and other used products. Things that would otherwise go in the trash,”  Hahn said. “There are definitely coats and there are a ton of shoes.” 


The free store is still working to advertise themselves, but they mostly post through Hamline’s sustainability Instagram account @hamlinesustainablity. While there have been some challenges because of COVID-19, stopping in and seeing what they offer is encouraged. You do not need to have a dire need for clothing either, all students from any financial backgrounds are welcome to stop in and have a look.