FALLS CITY – Sometime in June, Falls City High School teacher Kris Simon saw a documentary about kids in a needy community needing clothes.
She then realized that there was no such program in the Falls City community.
“I never even thought about a kid who wants to be in speech or mock trial and they just can’t run to St. Joeseph and get a nice shirt,” says Simon.
So she decided to do something about it, and now, in mid-November, she has (This room, which is absolutely stashed with clothes)a room stashed full of clothes.
“I never expected this at all. Every day I come to school, three days out of the week, there is clothes in the office for me, and I’ve had clothes dropped off on my porch and there was one time I had a pair of tennis shoes just outside my garage,” says Simon.
Just six months in, the Falls City School Closet program is a booming success with hundreds of quality items in the room for any student within the Falls City Public School system.
“So the kids can come in and borrow clothes and bring it back, if they have a wedding or an interview or they can come in because it’s something that they need and they can keep the clothes,” says Simon.
With all these clothes, the program needs plenty of volunteers, and thankfully for Simon they have many of them. Around 30 FCHS students give up a study hall to do various tasks in the room.
“I fold clothes, I organize the shelves, I put clothes on hangars and I go through the new donations,” says freshman volunteer Faith Zimmerman.
The students pick out clothes for the closet, as well as clothes to donate and sell. They use the money for items that they sell to buy clothes more appealing to high school-aged kids.
Zimmerman wanted to join some organization when she started school, but picked the school closet program because it would give her the opportunity to help out her fellow student body.
“I just thought this was a really good one to join, I loved the fact that we got to help other people in the school other than just myself,” says Zimmerman.
The outpouring of students wanting to help especially touched Simon.
“Just so proud of them, it’s the best part of teaching where you see kids not in their classroom do something unselfish,” says Simon.
Just because the closet is stocked, does not mean they are done taking donations. Simon says they are always accecpting more clothes, as well as cash donations.
Also, there is still plenty of work to do inside the closet, Zimmerman hopes more Falls City High students take part in the program.
“I hope more people want to come in here and see what’s it all about, I think some are just nervous or they just don’t really what to do about it,’ says Zimmerman.