Central Opens Store With Free Products For Needy Students | Nvdaily


WOODSTOCK – The headmistress of the central high school, Lori Swortzel, has several long-term projects that she wants to see come to fruition in her school. The first of these has arrived – Central Outfitters.

It’s a store with free clothes, deodorant, shampoo and soap for students who need it. Swortzel messaged Facebook on July 3 asking for donations from the community and the response she received was overwhelming.

“The whole community got involved,” Swortzel said. “We had churches involved and by the time they started this year in school this hall was packed. Every (product) was donated. We have Nike shoes that were never worn. is pretty amazing. But the outpouring community, the community support has been amazing, and it all really came from one post on Facebook. You can see the positive side of social media. I think we’ve all been through it. negative side of that. But it has been a real outpouring of the positive and the power of social media has been able to do it. “

Swortzel took a former school room and office space, which was not in use, and turned part of it into Central Outfitters. He has received hundreds of clothes and various hygiene products, which students in need can obtain for free. Central girls’ basketball coach Ashleigh Fletcher has asked some of her basketball players to help over the summer to start organizing the venue.

Center teacher Chris Kaznosky asked two of his students, seniors Erika Hutton and Emma Eberly, both basketball players, to work every day since the start of the school year to organize all the clothes and different products.

“There was a lot of clothes, the whole room was filled with bags full of clothes,” Hutton said. “It took a while. We just started organizing the clothes like shorts and pants and shirts and then later we moved on to sizes and men and women. It took a lot of organization.”

Students wishing to shop at the store need only make an appointment with a central administrator or school counselor. Swortzel said they can do this privately after school as well.

“We offer private after-school dates, so they can try on clothes and their friends don’t know they’re here,” Swortzel said. “Because there is a stigma behind the giveaways or the giveaways. A lot of things are new, but we didn’t want kids to feel targeted if people knew they were here shopping.”

Swortzel said she just felt there was a need for Central Outfitters. especially during the pandemic when many people were unemployed.

She said the plan is to offer cooking classes for the students. Swortzel said some students are looking after their younger siblings and that she wants them to know how to cook a healthy meal.

Swortzel said a longer-term goal is to have a laundromat, where a student can do their laundry.

Swortzel said she thinks the store is good for the school.

“It has been a great experience for us to have this available here,” she said. “Especially when our counselors know someone who is in need and can put them in touch immediately rather than trying to take the time to go out into the community and find that. The community has come to us, and we have them. have somehow brought them to be part of our school. “

Swortzel said since they had just organized everything they hadn’t had too many students in the store yet. But she said she expects more to do this over the year and realize how good the quality of the products is.

Eberly said she felt the student body would be happy to have the store and use it.

“We’ve seen kids come here while we’re here to get things they need,” Eberly said. “And so some kids already know that and are happy to be here and happy to have it.”

Swortzel said they also plan to expand the products they have in the store depending on the season.

“We have a vision around prom season to have prom dresses,” Swortzel said. “During the winter we will have a collection of coats and boots or something like that. Items for the colder weather. Right now a lot of things in there are summer things and summer things. fall.”

Swortzel said she wanted to work on projects like Central Outfitters because she thinks it’s important to help students with more than schoolwork.

“As a school, we have to look at the child as a whole,” Swortzel said. “So many children are coming in and their immediate needs are not being met. Or they can be embarrassed because they don’t have what other people have. So it’s just a way for us to be able to do something. costs us nothing but time, and it’s time well spent.

“It also helps us support families, who may be in need. So many people lost their jobs during the pandemic. And even just a few things like shampoo and deodorant – it’s a huge expense. keep increasing. This is something we can do as a school. “

Swortzel said she couldn’t have done anything without the community.

I am very grateful for the support from the community, ”she said. “This community of Woodstock and the central families are extremely generous and supportive. And it has certainly been a community effort. “


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