Under the direction of Religion teachers Alan DeRitter and Jan Ellis, De La Salle students collected 123 coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, and sweat suits, some in children’s sizes but many for young adults, for Covenant House.
“It was a great response from our kids and their families,” Ellis said. “Principal Paul Kelly was a driving force in this work,” she said, “because he made daily reminder announcements, encouraging the kids to bring in lightly used, outgrown outer garments, and the kids responded very well.”
When Ellis brought the garments to Covenant House, they were immediately placed on hangers on racks to be brought into the building. The residents helped with this and were allowed to take a garment for helping. “I didn’t think of the value of having some of our kids come with me to bring the clothes,” Ellis said, “but next year I’ll ask for volunteers. I want them to see what I saw, a young mother who stopped to help put the clothes on racks in order to ask for a coat for her baby in the stroller. It brought tears to my eyes to see her face light up when she finished work and gladly took a nice coat for her baby.”
Participants in the “Coats for Kids” drive held at De La Salle include (1st row) Co-organizer Jan Ellis, Hannah Johnson Wilson, Rhojahnae August, Catherine Shea, Caitlyn Baudier, Rebecca Frank; (2nd row – far right) Emily Wesley, Emily Candies, Julian Shum; (3rd row) Sean Barbarin, Gustavo De Paiva, Dashawn “Rock” Wright, Cameron Thomassie, Jammin Pura, Fisher Rojas; (4th row) John Kelly, Garrett Hickman, Payton Smith, Steve Marquez, Jeremiah Hernandez, Evan Dogru; and (5th row) Principal Paul Kelly, Steven Harris, and Co- organizer Alan DeRitter.