This #servicesaturday, we are highlighting one of The Gentlemen Showcase nominees, James Van Drie for his dedication to serving his community. James is a sophomore at Wheaton College. During his freshman year, James started Windy City Warmth (WCW), which provides outerwear and professional clothing to people living on the streets of Chicago. Since then, WCW has expanded significantly and made an incredible impact on the Chicago homeless population. As director of Windy City Warmth, James coordinates donations, distribution, and volunteer education and staffing.
James has coordinated efforts with the local community to collect gently used clothing. For example, the WCW team partners with local high schools, providing a training session to educate them on the causes of homelessness. After their training, groups of high schoolers are paired with college leaders who accompany them through the streets of Chicago. WCW encourages volunteers to take the time to get to know the people they are interacting with because these people have stories to tell as well.
James exemplifies a gentleman—not only is he actively involved in his community, but he took the extra initiative to start a charity in response to a need.
Voting is now open for The Gentlemen Showcase until February 28. Vote for the man you think deserves the title “Gentleman of the Year.”