The Shirt Off Their Backs: EL Clothes Closet Helps Students Stay Warm

The Clohtes Closet contains winter jackets and sweaters students who need them.

The Clohtes Closet contains winter jackets and sweaters students who need them.

By Shannon Brown, ’16

In the basement of Edward Little High School, near the food pantry, there is a small room filled with racks and boxes of clothes. The clothing has been donated by teachers, students and community organizations so that the students of EL who need clothes will have them.

This winter season has been bitingly cold, with snow pilling up causing hazardous conditions for the students of EL. The students have to endure the weather and bundle up in as many articles of warm clothing as they can, but for those who don’t have enough winter clothing, the Clothes Closet is a resource. Rosaria Chantrill, Aspirations teacher, is in charge of the clothes closet and is assisted by student volunteers and other staff members.

Chantrill tries to promote that kids can obtain spare clothes if they need to replace inadequate or damaged articles of clothing. Clothes are donated by other teachers and organization such as the Lewiston Police Athletic League and the New Balance Oxford County. Students and staff clean and repair the clothes, if necessary, before they are organized and displayed in the Clothes Closet.

The program was started by a group of teachers a few years ago who got together and started to collect clothes so that they would be able to provide them for students who had difficulties attaining any themselves. It also helped out students to who got into accidents during the school day and damaged their clothes and needed a spare set. “For example if you where walking to school one day and fell and tore your pants you could come to the clothes closet and get a pair of pants to wear for the day,” Chantrill said.

The Clothes Closet will be available for students even when the winter’s cold and snow eventually gives way to spring’s rain and mud. No matter what the season or what the weather, the Clothes Closet has students covered.

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