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About Us

What is the HomeStart Closet?

The International HomeStart Closet was begun in the 1990s to meet the needs of International students who arrive in Morgantown to study at WVU. It was started by Women Across Cultures and is now a collaborative effort, led by volunteers and sponsored by the Office of Global Affairs.  

When they arrive in Morgantown, these international students may have traveled for anything from twelve hours to several days.  Everything they have brought with them is in two suitcases and now they must register for classes, comply with immigration requirements, and find a place to live – all in a strange language.  Even for those of us who come from English speaking countries, it’s still a challenge!

The last two years have made things even more challenging, both for the students and the volunteers who seek to help them. As restrictions ease somewhat we would like to get back to doing what Morgantown and WVU do best – welcoming our new visitors and helping them establish their new home here. To this end the HomeStart Closet has two goals:

• To provide a starter kit for undergraduate students who arrive earlier than domestic students and who will be living in dorms, so that they do not spend their first night on a bare bed.
• To provide basic equipment such as dishes, pots and pans, and linens free of charge to students living on and off campus in apartments and to help fill their other needs where possible.


Where is it and how does it work?

Currently the HomeStart Closet is in the old Arnold Apartment building but we are in the process of moving to Arnold Hall to provide easier access. We are also looking to expand our group of volunteers to represent as many aspects of Morgantown as possible so we can truly make our students feel welcome to their new home.

Volunteers are needed to assemble and deliver the early arrival starter kits to the dorms in August. After that we will need help fulfilling requests from students living off campus.

• Could you volunteer for a couple of hours a week to help with any of the above?
• Could you help us with transportation?  Most students do not have cars or driving licenses.
• Do you know of an organization which would like a service project?


Would you like more information?

If you would like more information or would like us to come and speak to your group, please contact one of us by email or at the phone numbers listed below. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you.

  • Liz Finklea​​​​​, Community Volunteer Coordinator