Mod­ern Wood­men mem­bers stock SOCSD clos­ets

Starkville Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

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Mod­ern Wood­men mem­bers in Starkville re­cently spent time and re­sources to en­hance a lit­tle-known ser­vice in the Starkville Ok­tibbeha Con­sol­i­dated School District — the district’s cloth­ing clos­ets.

The SOCSD cloth­ing clos­ets, pri­mar­ily stocked with do­nated gently used, school dress-code cloth­ing, are ac­cessed daily by teach­ers, so­cial work­ers, coun­selors and ad­min­is­tra­tive staff, pro­vid­ing an im­me­di­ate change of clothes when needed for chil­dren at school and a re­source for fam­i­lies in cri­sis.

Par­ent vol­un­teer Marchelle Brain said cloth­ing clos­ets serve two pur­poses: giv­ing chil­dren a change of clothes in case of an ac­ci­dent while at school, and a sup­ply of cloth­ing for so­cial work­ers to pro­vide to chil­dren in need.

“We learned of this need when re­search­ing home­less­ness and home in­se­cu­rity in and around Starkville,” Mod­ern Wood­men Fi­nan­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bar­bara Coats said. “The purpose of the cloth­ing clos­ets is to help those stu­dents who don’t have the proper school uni­forms, but also to help those who have one-time is­sues, such as bath­room ac­ci­dents in the younger grades.”

Coats and other Mod­ern Wood­men mem­bers were able to pro­vide nearly $4,000 in pants, shorts, un­der­wear, di­a­pers, de­odor­ant, fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts and more to the school sys­tem, all as part of Mod­ern Wood­men’s “Take Home­less­ness to Heart” cam­paign for 2018.

“I’m so pleased with how we were able to help, but the big­ger pic­ture is what’s im­por­tant,” Coats said. “I want peo­ple in our com­mu­nity to know that our kids need help. They need do­na­tions and they need vol-

un­teers. Gently-used uni­forms or uni­form-ap­pro­pri­ate cloth­ing can be dropped off at the of­fice of any of our lo­cal schools.”

The school clothes clos­ets com­ple­ment an on­go­ing pro­gram of the lo­cal Ju­nior Aux­il­iary in which the Ju­nior Aux­il­iary pro­vides as­sis­tance to each stu­dent in need by pur­chas­ing two new sets of school dress-code out­fits by re­quest of the schools’ so­cial work­ers. The school cloth­ing clos­ets then pro­vide

an on-hand re­source for im­me­di­ate needs.

Ev­ery fall and spring, the SOCSD schools hold cloth­ing drives so­lic­it­ing do­na­tions of gently used or new dress-code pants, shorts, skirts, and shirts; shoes, coats, jack­ets, and sweaters; as well as new socks, un­der­wear, and per­sonal hy­giene items, but they wel­come do­na­tions year round. All sizes, from 4T to adult XXL, are needed.

Brain said dress-code pants with holes in the knees are even ac­cepted and can be made into

shorts.

“I love it,” Brain said. “I love re­cy­cling and so I like to see things be­ing reused and put to a good use to help kids who need uni­forms and help coun­selors and so­cial work­ers. The school has a need to help kids get clothe to change into.”

Brian said there is a con­stant need for cloth­ing in the cloth­ing clos­ets, and the vol­un­teers have a hard time keep­ing enough clothes in it.

The needs of the J.L. King Cen­ter and Emer­son Fam­ily Re­source

Cen­ter are even greater. Gently used and new non-dress code cloth­ing and shoes in all sizes, from in­fant to adult, as well as di­a­pers, wipes, and per­sonal hy­giene and laun­dry sup­plies can be do­nated to the cloth­ing clos­ets at these lo­ca­tions.

“My hope is that we get enough clothes that we can share them with the J.L. King Cen­ter,” Brain said. “I don’t want to stock­pile them. My goal is that we have all these things used and we can share and re­cy­cle the clothes.”

The SOCSD dress code in­cludes khaki and black pants, shorts, and skirts, and yel­low, white, gray, and black polo shirts, as well as school district T-shirts.

Year-round do­na­tions help keep com­mu­nity clos­ets stocked in all sea­sons. Feel free to drop do­na­tions at any SOCSD school front desk. For ques­tions about do­nat­ing or vol­un­teer­ing to help keep the clos­ets run­ning, please con­tact Marchelle Brain at marchelle­brain@ya­hoo.com or Au­drey Reid at au­dreyreid996@gmail. com.

(Sub­mit­ted photo)

Mod­ern Wood­man mem­bers Jamey Bach­man, An­gela Hill and Lau­ren Lang, Pro­gres­sive Starkville Net­work mem­ber Au­drey Reid, Mod­ern Wood­men Fi­nan­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bar­bara Coats, par­ent vol­un­teer Marchelle Brain and SOCSD coun­selors Faye Smith, Mil­dred Smith and Laket­tia Luck­ett are help­ing keep the district’s cloth­ing clos­ets stocked for chil­dren in need of clothes.

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