Students at Athens Intermediate School have been busy helping those in need while collecting an item that everyone owns — T-shirts.
The Student Council Association at AIS has led the way to collect T-shirts for Haiti through an organization known as Healing Hands International.
“We heard about the organization through Harry Hames,” said fifth-grade teacher Whitney Miles. “I go to church with Harry and was aware of his frequent trips to Haiti. He has been very instrumental in getting the people in Haiti supplies they need.”
Through Harry, Miles said, AIS has sponsored a shoe drive as well as a sock drive. However, students wanted to do more.
“Our student council wanted to do another service project, and Harry set us up with something we thought was ‘win-win,’” Miles said.
The SCA teacher representatives thought it would be good to set a goal of 1,000 shirts, according to Miles. “We wanted to clothe 1,000 people.”
“We have 19 homerooms, so we hoped each homeroom would bring at least 50, and we challenged the faculty and staff to bring 50,” she said.
The AIS students and faculty far exceeded the goal. Students donated more than 2,500 shirts to Haiti.
Sixth-grader Collin Gooch serves as president of the SCA. “We wanted to give to needy people so they could have T-shirts and other items like us,” he said.
Gooch said, during a period of a few weeks, students donated a number of T-shirts with sizes ranging from child to adult.
SCA secretary Grace Martin, also a sixth-grade student, said she brought big and small shirts from home for the drive. “I brought at least 20,” she said. “I think it is important because some people aren’t as fortunate as we are and we need to show them that they can have the things they need.”
Sixth-grade student Sean O’Connor, treasurer of SCA, said he donated around 50 T-shirts. “I think doing this is important because it is better to give than to receive,” he said. “People in Haiti aren’t as lucky as we are, so we need to help them out.”
When it comes to 2,500 T-shirts, all SCA officers were surprised. “We didn’t know we could collect that much,” Grace said.
It took two days to size and sort the T-shirts. Grace and Sean added it took all 28 members of the SCA working together.
“We were overwhelmed at their willingness to give,” Miles said. “You hear so much about kids doing negative things these days, but we’ve got some top notch kids at this school who truly pay attention to their civic duties.”
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