by Olivia Hewitt
A new initiative has been started at North Attleboro High School to provide necessities to families in need. They are calling it the Kindness Closet, and it houses a pantry of goods including toiletries, non-perishable food items and school supplies for any student in need.
The idea for the Kindness Closet started with Student Voice Summit. They came up with this idea after seeing a post highlighting a Texas school’s Kindness Closet. Around this same time, Mrs. Carley, a teacher at the Middle School, was establishing her closet, which showed the students of the Student Voice Summit that this was something North really needed.
Student Voice Summit representative and NAHS junior Abi Rajadurai has been an active part of getting the closet up and running. When asked about the importance of the Kindness Closet at NAHS, Rajadurai explained, “The Kindness Closet is a very important step to reducing the misplaced shame that comes with financial struggle.“
In addition to food and toiletries, the closet also has clothing for all ages, including men, women, and children.
Since most kids are too shy to come forward, there are both digital and paper request forms that students can fill out to avoid having to ask face to face. The online request form is on the school’s website and linked to QR codes in different bathrooms, and the paper form can be found in the nurse’s office, the guidance office, and the main office.
It has become very evident that the closet was really something North needed. Although the high school’s closet was only just started, North Attleboro Middle School’s closet has been up and running for almost two years now. This closet is very similar to ours and has the same mission in mind: to provide necessary goods for families in need.
Mrs. Carley, one of the 7th grade teachers at the Middle School runs the kindness closet,raves about the success it has had.
“The impact of the closet so far is almost immeasurable,” she explained. “We have provided a number of families with clothes, supplies, personal hygiene items, as well as other items that they need.”
In addition to storing and distributing goods, the middle school has a place for students that have had accidents to come in and get a change of clothes without embarrassment. They have also made packages for transfer students and foster kids so they can get their own supply of clothes, supplies and hygiene needs right away.
Mrs. Carley detailed that she is also working on streamlining the process of the request forms so it keeps it secure and respects everyone’s privacy.
Both the high school and middle school closets are accepting donations from anyone who wants to lend a helping hand. When asked what they need most Mrs.Violette states, “What we really need is to get the word out. People need to know we have this resource and that we have the supplies to make our students’ lives a little easier.”
For inquiries about the middle school kindness closet, contact Mrs. Carley at email@example.com.