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Bradley students hosting event to help homeless population in Peoria

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PEORIA (HOI) - What started as a class project has now turned into an eye opening experience for Bradley University students.

Katie Magree and Sophia Vojta were assigned a group project for their capstone class. The group was instructed to pair with a non-profit and for profit organization to create a campaign for a social issue in Peoria. The group decided they wanted to tackle homelessness in the area.

"Our professor recommended JOLT. We talked to Chris [Schaffner, Program Director at JOLT] and he was completely on board. And then we found crafted and their mission really aligned with jolt and our mission," Senior Bradley student Katie Magree said.

Magree and Vojtea said their mission is to connect Peoria with the proper places to donate safely and effectively.

They found people were wanting to donate, but Vojtea says they were dropping off food and clothing directly to encampments, and local non-profits discourage that type of donation

"When you drop off a pile of clothing that not everyone can use, you create a perfect nests for pests that actually make it really dangerous to live there," Senior Bradley student Sophia Vojta said.

Pairing with JOLT and Crafted DIY Studio & Bar, Magree and Vojta knew, with their event, they had the ability to connect those who wanted to donate to the proper places.

Come Thursday, you can join the group at Crafted DIY Studio & Bar to hear from JOLT about homelessness in Peoria, and take part in crafting and drinks, with 20% of the proceeds going to JOLT.

Magree and Vojta say this process has opened their eyes to the realities of homelessness in Peoria.

"Jolt, especially, reminded us of all of the difficulties that come with homelessness, as well as, it's very easy to become homeless. All you have to do is lose that job," Magree said.

"Peoria is really lucky to have a lot of great non-profits that are doing the right things," Vojta said.

If you're interested in attending the event Thursday, it is from 5 to 8 p.m. at Crafted DIY Studio & Bar. You can go to their website at and register to attend in person or online.

Gabi Guerrero

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