BHS clothes closet offers wardrobes for kids in need

Published 4:51 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

Bainbridge High School students who need something to wear—maybe a prom dress or the required clothing for senior pictures and graduation exercises—or just a warm coat or sweater and a cold day, have a place to go and find what they need.

About four years ago, the members of the BHS Rotary Interact Club began collecting clothing and started a clothes closet in a book room. It was overseen by teacher Kim Burrell, the sponsor of Interact, and the students took turns sorting through the items whenever they had a few free minutes. But the donations were overwhelming.

Burrell says the project has really evolved greatly over the last year and she credits much of the success to retired teacher Marjorie Brock, who volunteered to come in and organize it. “As her wheels started turning, it started to take shape,” said Burrell.

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She created a closet vision and recruited vocational students to install hanging rods in some of the shelving areas so the clothing could be hung on hangars. She divided the clothing into categories and added signs over the sections. The school purchased the supplies and the students did the work. They even began getting donations of clothes hangers. “It now looks like a little shop where students can go shopping for clothes,” she adds.

Burrell commented on how they gave away three prom dresses this year. Some of the teachers had donated prom dresses their girls had worn but once. “They were all really beautiful dresses and we put posters around the school saying, ‘See Miss Burrell if you want one.’”

This year Mr. Howell added a special room for those graduating. The senior room has a selection of white shirts, dark ties, the right shade of pants, all necessary to meet the dress code for graduation

The best part is the items are all free to the students. Because it is all donated, she tells the students just to help themselves. Word spreads quickly among the students when a name brand item is donated..

Burrell said the room stays locked, but anyone who wants to go in can get a key from her.  They can lock the door while they are in there and a sign designates the room as “Occupied.” Someone has even donated a full-length mirror so the students can see what they look like while they try on the clothing.

“It started with the Interact Club, but it really took off when Marjorie Brock took it over,” concluded Burrell.