Shippensburg University students reached out to families in the Chambersburg Area School District in an attempt to collect “Clothes for the Code.”
The school district implemented a new dress code policy this year that angered many families.
Seniors Laura Hoffstetter, Rashad Curtis, Cynthia Balmer and Jesse Hundley held a clothing drive in Chambersburg, Pa., for families who could not afford to buy clothes that adhere to the school district’s new policy.
Hoffstetter, Curtis, Balmer and Hundley are social work majors. This semester they are taking a class called Practice with Organizations and Communities and it requires each student to do a community service project.
Seeing the impact of the new dress code on lower income families, the four seniors decided to take action.
They started by emailing faculty from the social work and education departments asking them to encourage their students to support the clothing drive.
They also placed boxes around campus where students could donate new or used clothing. Those who did not have clothes to donate, but wanted to participate gave monetary donations.
After collecting all of the donated clothing, the four students hosted their event on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Eugene C. Clarke Junior Community Center.
They set up five tables for women and men’s shirts, women and men’s pants and a table for elementary school children.
Each student who attended received a plastic bag and filled it with as many clothes they could fit inside. Hoffstetter said there were about 35 to 40 people who benefitted from the clothing drive and they gave away about two-thirds of the clothing they collected.
The rest was donated to the Chambersburg Area School District. Middle school Principal Kurt Widmann will decide how the clothes will be distributed based on the economic status of each family.
Hofstetter and her group members wanted to respect the authorities within the district and empower those who needed help.
“As social work majors we got out of it what we wanted,” she said. “Which was to promote helping families instead of condemning the policy.”
Hoffstetter hopes that the clothing drive will continue throughout the year but she knows that will be a difficult task since each group member is a senior.
She is not sure how to keep it running, but someone in the social work department could do the same community service project next year.
The group had to create a manual about what their service project was and how they executed it.
“It’s essentially a binder that says here’s our project,.Here’s the ins and outs of the project. The binder is actually kept on file in the social work department,” Hoffstetter said.