Wesley Chapel Elementary hosts “Jeans & Jackets” drive

Kathryn Sutton (left) and Abigail Ormiston hold up a sign promoting their “Jeans & Jackets” drive. The drive will take place Sept. 24 to 28 at Wesley Chapel Elementary School and will collect cool weather clothing items to benefit the Union County Community Shelter.

WESLEY CHAPEL – Students at Wesley Chapel Elementary School are reaching out to those in need in Union County through a school-wide “Jeans & Jackets” drive.
From Monday, Sept. 24, to Friday, Sept. 28, students will collect and donate “cool weather” clothes – jeans, jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and long-sleeve shirts – to be given to the Union County Community Shelter. Items are needed in all sizes.
The drive is the brainchild of Wesley Chapel students Abigail Ormiston, a 10-year-old fifth-grader, and Kathryn Sutton, a 9-year-old fourth-grader. After a tornado hit Harrisburg last year, the two friends decided they wanted to help the residents of the town. They organized a cash drive and collected more than $200, which was donated to Harrisburg Elementary School.
But this year, Abigail and Kathryn wanted to do something different. At first, they wanted to collect items to be donated to a Third World country overseas, but found out shipping the items would be very expensive.
The girls knew they wanted to do something to help children in the community and were surprised to learn there are kids and adults in Union County who are in need of everyday essentials like warm clothes.
With the help of their moms, the girls found out about the Union County Community Shelter, which collects new and gently used clothing items to give to clients in need. They knew they  found the right fit and chose the shelter as the recipient of the donations.
To promote their drive throughout the school, the girls had Principal Wendy Gravely distribute flyers to each of the teachers and send out a flyer to parents via email.
Abigail and Kathryn plan to set up a collection box in front of the library where students and teachers can drop off donations. In addition, the girls plan to place a box outside near the car rider line in the morning so parents can drop off their donations as they take their children to school. Although the drive mainly focuses on jeans and jackets, families can contribute other clothing items, as well.
“Jeans & Jackets” isn’t the first time the school has collected items to be donated to people in need. A couple years ago, the school held a book drive in which students collected more than 500 books and donated them to a small school in a West Virginia mining town that sees a lot of poverty.
Abigail and Kathryn are excited about once again helping those in need through a school-wide drive. “They really look so forward to this,” Abigail’s mom, Kim, said. “They’re looking so forward to making that final delivery.”

Want to help?
Families in the community wishing to contribute to the “Jeans & Jackets” drive can bring gently used jeans, jackets, scarves, hats, gloves and other cool weather clothing to Wesley Chapel Elementary, located at 110 Potter Road S., and drop them off in the collection box in the front office. For more information, call the school at 704-296-3081.

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