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Sydney Sforzo and Chelsea Lea, ODA students, have attended the school and been best friends since first-grade.
East County Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 4 years ago

ODA students' Giving Closet opens door to education

Best friends team up to raise money for Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund.
by: Amanda Sebastiano Staff Writer

Since they were in first-grade, current Out-of-Door Academy students Chelsea Lea and Sydney Sforzo have been inseparable.

"To me, we're more like sisters," Lea said.

Throughout their academic careers at ODA, the girls worked on projects together as often as possible and they take many of the same classes.

Their latest endeavor has been no different. The eighth-graders created the idea for "The Giving Closet" about a year ago, but just started working on the project two months ago.

The project, which will offer a thrift-store type sale to benefit the Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund at ODA, started with Sforzo and Lea cleaning out their closets to get rid of shoes and clothing they don't wear often.

"We both do it about twice a year, just to be organized," Sforzo said. "While I was going through my closet, I realized I had tons of things that I had barely worn."

Since January, the girls have collected purses, clothing, shoes and other donations from their classmates. They have 15 bins around the ODA campus, mostly in the middle school area.

The girls worried no one would donate, but the first day, at least one bin overflowed with donations of t-shirts, jeans, sneakers, sweatshirts and other items.

"We have more than four bins that are filled with clothes," Lea said. 

Their collected items will be offered in the sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at ODA. 

Prices for items will start as low as $2.

Typically the girls bring their donations to Goodwill. They wanted to do something different this year, something that helped their school, Lea said.

The Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund at ODA helps pay for the education of students who otherwise couldn't afford to attend ODA.

One scholarship is given per school year.

The girls plan to donate the money at a school assembly in the near future, to further recognize the Emmons family. 

"We wanted the money we raised to go to something specific, rather than just donating it to the school," Sforzo said. "Everyone at ODA knows about the Emmons family, and it's a great cause. We're really looking forward to this event."


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