High school opens free clothing closet

PLAINWELL, Mich. -- If the movie "Mean Girls" taught us anything, it's that high school can be brutal. Even tougher when all you have is what you have on.

Plainwell High School teacher Nancy Heath noticed a need in her school a few months ago.

"I just looked around the school and there are kids that just don't have adequate clothing. They're wearing the same thing day in and day out, they're dirty, you know they probably don't have access to a washer/dryer and they don't ask, they don't complain they just come to school and do their best. So I thought why not help?"

Thinking of a community closet, Heath went to assistant principal Debra Beals with her idea.

"She asked what would you think of developing a clothes closet," said Beals. "I was really excited about the idea because three years ago we tried to pull it off."

But three years ago, there was no teacher available to spearhead the project. It was set aside until recently when Heath got the ball rolling again.

Donations have streamed in, stocking the closet with dress shirts, ties, active wear, winter coats and formal dresses. Using the washer in Heath's classroom, students wash and fold every piece that comes in.

When "The Hanger" opens next week Beals hopes students are comfortable coming in and getting what they need.

The school is already looking to expand "The Hanger" and are in need of clothing racks, closet organizers and laundry detergent. If you are interested in donating please email Nancy Heath at nheath@plainwellschools.org.

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