Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences donates more than 250 pairs of jeans for the YMCA Youth Shelter.
Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences Principal Tara Tahmosh-Newell came across a campaign on Facebook with the Sarasota Police Department with a call to action to collect for the 3rd annual Teens for Jeans program.
She instantly thought it was a challenge she could give to her students with the hopes of perhaps gathering a few boxes to donate.
"I made the deadline for after winter break hoping that some of them would receive some new clothes and be able to donate old clothes," Tahmosh-Newell said.
Students exceeded her expectations and donated more than 250 pairs of jeans. On Monday morning she arrived with members of the student council at the YMCA Youth Shelter to deliver the donation in person.
"Many of them were surprised that there was a youth shelter in our community," Tahmosh-Newell said.
The shelter serves children ages 10 to 17 and provides them with temporary housing and safe care. The children have run away, are experiencing family conflict or could have been locked out of their homes.
Director for the YMCA Youth Shelter Shad Renick said the need for clothing is crucial to helping the homeless teenagers that the shelter serves. The shelter is open 24 hours a day to allow for children to seek safety at all hours of the day. Many arrive with little to no personal belongings.
"It's something that benefits our kids tremendously," said Renick. "We get kids coming in quite often that don't have clothes."
Including to the donations from the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences, the campaign has collected about 500 pairs of jeans. With the shelter serving mostly middle and high school students appearances are an important confident boost explained Sarasota Police Capt. Corinne Stannish.She was present to thank the students for their contributions and brought with her even more donations from the community.
"It's heart warming to see middle school students helping out," Stannish said. "To be homeless is hard enough, to make it so obvious on the outside makes it more difficult. With these [donations] it will make it so they don't have one more strike against them."