A desire to help classmates look their best inspired a project to have students open a charitable clothes closet. At Jefferson Middle School, eighth grader Chloe Murray took the plan for the clothes closet to her language arts teacher Shannon Arko. From there, the idea grew to a reality.
Principal Shawn Munos dedicated a room in the building for the clothes closet, and Chloe got friends to help out as well. Last month, Chloe’s Closet opened filled with fashionable clothes and has become a way to help students and give back to the school community.
“Confidence is a real issue in middle school, especially when it comes to clothing,” Chloe said. “If you don’t have the newest brand names or what’s in style, it’s hard to feel confident,” she said.
According to Arko, the charitable clothes closet is based on the idea that “if you supply children with basic needs, such as clothing, they will be better able to focus on the learning material rather than being self-conscious about what they are wearing.”
Students, neighboring schools and local businesses have provided used and new clothing in a variety of sizes to start up the clothes closet. The closet is open after school hours and on a rotating day. Students earn “J-Hawk” money when they turn in an assignment on time, correct their homework, or participate in school activities. They can then use that money to purchase clothing. Within the past 2 months, the closet has sold 100 items.