National Honor Society hosts coat drive
STEVENSVILLE — Marisa Teti, a 17-year-old senior from Kent Island High School, is used to school participation, and that initiative transformed a small coat drive into a community success.
Marisa, along with her school’s 26-member National Honor Society and their two academic advisors, William Hazy and Callie Isenberg, started a simple coat drive they thought would only lead to a box full of coats.
Under the supervision of the Good Deeds Subcommittee, word of the coat drive soon reached parents and member of the community and yielded multiple boxes and a total of 277 coats to be handed out Dec. 21 at the food pantry with the remaining coats to be donated to Haven Ministries.
“I’ve always wanted to do a coat drive,” Marisa said. “When I was younger, I would see kids who didn’t have coats during winter, and that’s always been in my heart to reach out to those in the community and in this school.”
A chance visit to an area pumpkin patch was where Marisa found a spacious box for the donations and after some decorating by her fellow classmates, the coat drive was underway the following week.
Advertising the project went beyond just the school with students printing fliers to be distributed to area. After filling the ample box an estimated four times and her personal vehicle twice, it was clear the call for used coats had resonated with the public during the holiday season.
“I was already a part of this subcommittee and my family’s business, who would occasionally do their own coat drive, got involved to extend the reach. It feels great to be part of this and I was always working with charities like the food pantry so its especially gratifying,” said Richard Strucko, a 17-year-old junior.
Richard, who hopes to attend Princeton University and study the computer science field, echoed the sentiment of the participants organizing and counting the coats in saying that it does not take very much to get involved in making the community better.
During the sorting, coats were grouped by youth and adult in small, medium and large sizes to better assist in their distribution.
Theresa Surina, a 16-yearold junior, was one of the students who printed and handed out fliers to motorists about the opportunity to donate coats. Initial trepidation gave way to more than willing members of the public who donated.
“At first, I didn’t think people would want them, then people were interested and asked about the program. Families then started wanting to donate and so many wanted to help. There were even some who had already donated, but were going to go through their house again to drop off more,” Theresa said.
Teagan Brandt, a 17-yearold senior, produced a video for the school’s news outlet advertising the project. It quickly became a family affair with her parents and siblings wanting to donate and even appearing in the video.
“I wasn’t surprised by the response. I like to think the best of people and that they really do want to help and this is just an opportunity for them to do that,” Teagan said.
Members of the Kent Island High School National Honor Society gather to sort and count the coats gathered.