The Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group is honoring disabled students for running a clothing pantry that helps needy people in their community.
At Village High School, special education students are operating the clothing pantry through a vocational skills program called The Hanger. it is operated by a team of moderately to severely disabled students who are making the transition from school to work. The program opened two years ago. Since then, the students have gained 1100 hours of work experience. They have also distributed over 4100 bags of clothing to local families at no charge.
“We donate these things to people who don’t have them,” said Hangar team member Megan Brown, 19. “It makes me feel happy; it’s pretty sad that there are people who don’t have things. We’re helping them out. We help as a group.”
Recently, the program received a 2017 Dreammakers and Risktakers Award from Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, which honors humanitarian contributions, persistence, remarkable accomplishments, creativity and technical advances by students in the Tri-Valley school districts and Las Positas College.
Usually the Hangar is open two Wednesdays a month to the public. Clients can fill bags with whatever they need, and new socks and underwear are distributed fairly. Items that need to be cleaned are taken to Amador High, where special education students there launder the clothing.
In the two years that the Hanger has been open, it has grown from a small room at Village High to over twice that amount of space. There are ten students who work there, collecting clothing and bringing it back to be sorted and displayed.