LOS ANGELES — USC students this week concluded a monthlong campaign to raise supplies for the Midnight Mission in the skid row district.
Des Harding, a graduate student who coordinated the drive, said he began the campaign after reading Times columnist Al Martinez's account about harsh living conditions on skid row and the mission's work to provide the homeless with housing, food and clothing.
"The poor and homeless of Los Angeles are an enduring reality, but our drive is a start," Harding said.
Student volunteers collected clothes, toys, hygiene supplies, food and cash. Through word of mouth, hundreds of students and many local residents contributed.
The mission receives no government funding and depends on community donations to subsidize its work, said Barry Liss, the mission's coordinator of events and benefits.
Some students who donated said they felt personally obligated to help the city's poor.
"If I have as many resources as I do, there's no sense buying more stuff for myself," said Kristin Price, a sophomore.