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‘Comfort Closet’ opens at Bucktail Middle/High School

KEVIN RAUCH/THE EXPRESS Student council members, from left, Emma Poorman, Myka Poorman and Rachel Goss re-stock shelves with items from the schools “Comfort Closet,” a place where students can get items that they need to make their day at school a better experience.

By KEVIN RAUCH

For The Express

RENOVO — The Bucktail Student Council recently revealed their ‘Comfort Closet’ to the students at Bucktail Area Middle/High School, and it’s likely no one could have quite predicted the instant success of the program designed to get a myriad of items to students who need them.

An entire room at the school is dedicated to the project and it’s rather remarkable just how much one space contains.

Coats, snacks, school supplies and canned foods are lined on shelves, ready to be picked up by students who could use such things. A large portion of the shelving units are dedicated to personal hygiene which surely could make an adolescent’s day at school much easier if they need such an item or even simply forgot to bring something from home.

KEVIN RAUCH/THE EXPRESS Paul Risley and Hailee Pollock hang a couple of newly donated coats on the rack for the availability of students at Bucktail.

Student council advisors Janene Sockman and Marissa Getz pitched the idea to the students who helped to bring it into fruition. Sockman and Getz said they are continually surprised with the instant success.

“The community response was overwhelming, We had this stocked within a couple of weeks of putting the word out and the amount and quality of items that started coming in were just so far beyond what we anticipated,” Sockman says. As if on cue, after finishing her sentence former teacher Patty Lacy walked in the room and made a contribution before explaining that her Woman’s Club that she is meeting with later in the evening would be putting more donations together.

The coat rack itself is a testament to how the program has exceeded expectations. At first they weren’t sure if they would get a sustainable amount of jackets to offer to students, but the rack is still full despite having already given out quite a few.

“Bucktail’s Comfort Closet has been a buzz for some time now and has been a big help to the students at Bucktail High School,” campus principal Betsy Dickey explained, proud of the student council’s efforts. “The closet contains toiletries, food items, and clothing donated by businesses, individuals and organizations … the closet is only available to Bucktail students”.

The closet is open two afternoons a week with Katie Ditty in the room to assist students.

Any students who may have a difficult time asking for an item can fill out a form, keeping the request private and receiving it without ever having to go to the comfort closet. Sockman estimates that about 20 students have been in the closet each time that it is open.

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