Care Closets helping Hamilton County students
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – While the holiday season is all about giving, Care Closets in Hamilton County Schools have continued to give to kids in need year-round.
Josh Singh is the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director at Unifi-ED.
That nonprofit has partnered with the school system and with the help of organizations, churches and donors there are Care Closets inside schools with the most needs.
“It’s really hard for a child to be able to focus and pay attention in school if they haven’t eaten anything that day or even the day before. If they don’t have the school supplies needed to be able to engage with the curriculum or in some cases if they don’t have clean clothes or a clean uniform to be able to go to school. Sometimes they’re embarrassed, or they’ll just stay home,” Singh said.
That’s where the closets come into play.
They provide not just clothes and uniforms, but other items.
“Snacks, crackers, chips, peanut butter and jelly, that kind of stuff. We have some larger items children can take home too. Larger food items as well. Laundry detergent, school supplies, notebooks, backpacks. Really it runs the gamut,” Singh said.
He said that at the schools, teachers and social workers connect kids to the closets.
“If a child doesn’t have a backpack when they’re coming into school, let’s say they’re using a grocery bag or something like that, they would direct them to the care closet. And so they’re keeping an eye on the needs as they see them arise and sort of facilitating the kids to be able to access those rooms,” Singh said.
Unifi-ED is holding a drive through Dec. 13th for a new closet at East Lake Elementary School.
The following items are being requested by the East Lake community:
- School uniforms
- Male and female polo shirts (blue, white, navy, yellow), all sizes (Children’s S, M, L, XL, Adult S, M)
- Male pants/shorts (khaki or navy), all sizes (Children’s 5-6, 7-8, 10-12, 14-16)
- Female pants/skirts/shorts (khaki or navy), all sizes (Children’s 5-6, 7-8, 10-12, 14-16)
- Socks, all sizes
- Boys and girls underwear, all sizes
- Ponytail holders
- Hairbrushes and combs
- Snacks for when a child misses breakfast (non-perishables, individually wrapped items such as granola bars, Goldfish, individual boxes of cereal, etc.)
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
- Feminine sanitary products
- Gloves, scarves, winter hats
- Throw blankets
Items can be dropped off at the Unifi-ED, 1609 McCallie Avenue.