Shamokin PA
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Churches help stock school’s Clothing Closet



STEPHANIE BETTICK/STAFF PHOTO Seventh-grade members of the trivia club volunteered Friday afternoon to help sort uniforms donated by Methodists United to the Clothing Closet at Shamokin Area Jr./Sr. High School.

STEPHANIE BETTICK/STAFF PHOTO Seventh-grade members of the trivia club volunteered Friday afternoon to help sort uniforms donated by Methodists United to the Clothing Closet at Shamokin Area Jr./Sr. High School.

COAL TOWNSHIP — Local pastors Zachary Hopple and Karyn Fisher donated more than 180 pieces of clothing that satisfy the school dress code to the Clothing Closet at Shamokin Area Middle/High School Friday afternoon.

The donations were  accepted by four seventh-grade members of the trivia club who were “overjoyed.” The trivia club formed the Clothing Closet in September to help students who can’t afford to purchase the appropriate clothing.

Fisher said Hopple, having collected 80 clothing pieces plus used items from parishioners at First United Methodist Church, Sunbury Street, had the idea to donate to the school. Meanwhile, Fisher had spoken with the Rev. Steve Morton, of Hopewell United Methodist Church in Downingtown, who told her of $1,500 it had available to fund a “children’s ministry.” She was awarded the money for the project.

Fisher researched how best to spend the money and found the answer at Old Navy. She visited the clothing company’s website and began buying the items in bulk. The company was “tremendous,” she said, asking her what she needed and pulling the items to ship to the church.

‘More possibilities now’

Trivia club adviser Tiffani Bogart watched proudly as Samantha Stancavage, Carly Lubeskie, Katheryn Slotterback and Evelyn Murphy spent their study hall in the Clothing Closet, unloading and sorting the items dropped off by Hopple and Fisher, who attended as a representative of Methodists United. The clothing is able to help everyone from kindergarten through high school.

The girls said some kids wear the same pair of pants for a week or have one set of dress code clothing for the school year.

“I think I can speak for the whole club when I say it’s a great thing to have gotten so many clothes,” Stancavage said. “We had a significant amount of clothes, but it’s just bigger and it’s a wide range of sizes, so anyone, no matter what size they are, can come in here.”

Lubeskie said, “I’m very excited and very grateful because it’s just going to make it open to more people and there are more possibilities now.”

‘Icing on the cake’

They’ve already helped several students since beginning the Clothing Closet, including a recent transfer student who was in need of clothes to help her start her school year.

They’ve also held fundraisers, so far raising a total of $217 to purchase more uniforms.

Bogart said she couldn’t express how proud she is of the students because it isn’t an easy undertaking due to the time it takes to keep the “closet” organized.

“It gives me such joy seeing how their faces light up when a student comes down and needs something and they’re able to help them. It’s the icing on the cake as a teacher,” she said with a smile.