Campus-wide closet at University of Houston helps students find confidence in their outfits

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A University of Houston student is working to make college life a little easier for fellow students. It's all part of a mission to boost students' confidence in their clothing.

This week, Kelechi Iroegbu has been collecting donated clothes from students to clothe other students as part of the "Cougar Closet."

"I think everybody deserves to feel comfortable in their fit and have that confidence going to school. You know? Feel good, in what you're wearing," said Iroegbu.

The 21-year-old said that was the idea behind creating the Cougar Closet in 2020 during the start of the pandemic.

"Eliminate that stress factor from students who are thinking about paying their rent or thinking about classes. They're thinking about all these things."

The senior is collecting donated clothes until Friday, Feb. 25 before the program's official launch.

Right now, Iroegbu is collecting bags of donated items and storing them in an empty classroom at University of Houston's Wellness Center.

Soon, the room will be filled with a big dream now realized two years in the making.

Back in 2020 when Iroegbu was 19 years old, he hosted a clothing drive for the Star of Hope homeless shelter. He said more than 2,500 pieces of clothing were donated.

Iroegbu was so blown away by the response that he soon recognized an even greater need on campus during a resident assistant training class.

"There was this RA training and one of the questions, I'll never forget," said Iroegbu. "One of the questions I heard was how many of you know someone that's living couch to couch, bouncing around type of thing. I was like, 'Whoa,' to see that. I mean I didn't know anyone, but to see those people raise their hands was really telling because a lot of people that raise their hands. That's really what called me."

That's when the senior decided to create a permanent place for undergraduate and graduate students in need.

He and student volunteers are collecting donations through the end of the week. Then next week, they will wash and sort the items to be ready for students to pick up anonymously.

University of Houston students can donate by contacting Iroegbu through the Cougar Closet Instagram account.
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