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Middle schoolers host linen drive to support county homeless

Left to Right: Kneeling: Kyler Hathaway, Clara Rowles. Standing: Samuel DeLeon, Kate Sosville, Laura Connor and Charlie Mann.

Left to Right: Kneeling: Kyler Hathaway, Clara Rowles. Standing: Samuel DeLeon, Kate Sosville, Laura Connor and Charlie Mann.

— Charlie Mann, Kyler Hathaway, Kate Sosville, Clara Rowles, Laura Connor and Samuel DeLeon are Student Leaders at Cazenovia Middle School. Student Leaders are seventh grade students chosen by their peers to represent the students of the school. They enforce school rules around the hallways and try to make school fun and safe for everyone.

The Student Leaders decided to host a linen drive asking for gently used washcloths, towels and blankets from Middle School students. The drive was for Community Action. This organization helps the homeless in Madison County by helping provide people with jobs, a place to live, and many daily items.

The leaders met with Mrs. Bain, a representative from Community Action. During the meeting, Mrs. Bain talked to us about the homeless. It really opened our eyes and made us aware of how different the reality is from the stereotypes.

Mrs. Bain asked what we thought a homeless person might look like. Many of us said we thought they would be in tattered clothes with long hair. She surprised us all by saying that a homeless person would look like you or me or anyone else. Then she asked where a homeless person might live. Some of the things we said were in boxes, on sidewalks, abandoned buildings, benches and under bridges. Her answer was that most live in their cars and with other families.

Then Mrs. Bain talked to us about how there is no service to provide anyone with the items that we use daily. She also said that there are more homeless in Madison County than you think. Mrs. Bain then asked if we had any questions, there was only one. “What can we do to help?”

After discussion, we decided that a drive for blankets, towels and washcloths would be best. We got to work making posters and announcements. The drive started on November 18 and ended on Nov. 22. We set a goal of 200 items by the end of the drive. The first day we received 62 items. This was a great way to start off collection week. As the days continued, our pile got increasingly larger. Finally, on the last day we ended with a grand total of 364 items. Even though the drive has ended, you can still help individually by bringing any of your used items to an organization near you.

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