S.H. Clothes Closet still stepping-up for students in need

Students in Science Hill’s Topper Summit class have maintained a clothing closet for students in need for the past three years. Photo by Collin Brooks

When the Science Hill Clothes Closet started three years ago, Topper Summit teacher Debbie Mottern wasn’t quite sure how long it would last. A great deal of work goes into collecting, organizing and maintaining a service that helps students in need. But to her delight, and some Science Hill students’ benefit, Mottern’s Topper Summit class continues to provide a space that addresses the material needs of Science Hill students. 

The Science Hill Clothes Closet provides students with a safe space to browse through gently worn clothing items. More formal items, like ties,  help students prepare for a job interview. Students can also find a selection of prom dresses, which can help ease the financial burden during prom season. 

“When we started this project three years ago, I wasn’t quite sure how long it would last,” Mottern said. “I knew there was a need, and so did my students, but we weren’t sure if future classes would be as invested. We are pleased to report that we continue to be a resource for students in need of clothing. We have also been able to expand our offerings to include non-perishable food items, common hygiene products and even school supplies.” 

Science Hill senior Emily Horvath said that she was excited when presented the opportunity to help with the clothes closet. 

“It’s just really important to help people in our school community who may need something,” Horvath said. “It’s cool to be able to help the people in our school that we might interact with often.” 

Science Hill senior Shaylin Gonzalez agreed with her classmate. 

“I think it is nice to know that I am helping to make sure that people have clothes and food,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t know what someone is going through or what they need. So it’s nice to know that we have this available to help anyone who needs it.” 

The fall semester was difficult with varying schedules and other issues that the pandemic presented. But this semester, students have worked hard to clear out old donations and replace them with new donations. 

“I’m extremely proud of my students because they are truly doing this work to give back to Science Hill and help their fellow students,” Mottern said. “We do not do the closet for recognition or to get money. We just do it because we want to help others.” 

Science Hill senior Camryn Jones said that is exactly why she wanted to use her time in the Topper Summit class to help with the clothes closet. 

“I chose to help here because it is good to know that students in our school can come in here to get things they need,” Jones said. “We just want to let them know that we care for them.”

Related: Science Hill students open clothing closet for peers in need


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