It is getting cold out there, and with the holiday season approaching, a small group of Elmira District Secondary School wants to keep everyone warm.
The period A Learning Strategies class, made up of six to eight students, are collecting every piece of warm clothing and winter accessories they can get their hands on with the winter clothing drive. They put the call out to their fellow students, and the response has been great.
Teacher Maddie Colbeck says they already have more boxes to donate than expected, and they are looking to gather a bit more.
“So far we have enough for 12 complete boxes, which is way more than what we planned for. We had talked about what would equal success for this, and really, the group said anything,” she shared. “One box is better than no boxes. I had thought that maybe we would get 10, and we are 12 already, so by the end of the week, maybe 15. Huge success for us so far.”
The items collected will be donated to a pair of charities, Woolwich Community Services and Kitchener’s oneROOF, a homeless shelter for teenagers and youth.
“We wanted to give back to the community, obviously. We are a small community, and if most of these coats and things were going to get thrown out anyways, why not put it to good use?” said Grade 12 student Nicole Merlihan. “We don’t have any youth homeless shelters in Elmira, and there are a few in Kitchener, but we did narrow it down to oneROOF.”
It isn’t just winter jackets the class has been collecting.
“We are collecting anything that will keep someone warm: jackets, snow pants, gloves, hats, neck warmers, whatever, for all ages,” said Chris Lovell, a Grade 9 student at EDSS.
Grade 11 student Andrew Bergen says they aren’t just helping those in need when the group goes from class to class collecting the items.
“Not only are we helping others, but you are helping yourself by developing skills in team work and responsibility and organization,” he said, adding that he was pleasantly surprised by the response from his fellow students. “We feel pretty good because I didn’t think they would respond like this. We are impressed.”
The class started collecting the winter clothing last week, and will be wrapping up their collection tomorrow, Dec. 9 before sorting everything and donating to their chosen charities.
“We are hoping that we get more stuff in. Usually that is what happens at the last minute,” said Merlihan.