Jeans, shoes, hoodies and scarves are some of the items students can find at the Raider Closet at Harrison High School. The Lafayette Breakfast Optimist Club provided a grant to cover the cost of creating the closet—storage bins, hangers, clothing racks and more.
The Raider Closet is open to students to shop for free, gently-used clothing. “Due to displacement, job loss, family hardships, etc., students have a need for basic clothing items,” says Harrison Counselor Melissa Tanner. “Students can shop discreetly, without embarrassment, in a room within their own school.”
A team of staff volunteers coordinates the donations of clothing items from staff, parent volunteers and the community. While initially most of the donations came from teachers, they are now accepting donations from the community. Undergarments will be accepted only if they are new and still have tags.
“The response has been great!” Tanner says. “It has been heartwarming to witness the teachers, staff, students, parents, and community join together to help one another. We recognize that many families experience hardship at some point in life; the Closet provides the opportunity to lean on one another in times of good and bad. Many of those donating have shared about their own experience with hardship and what they needed at that time.”