Quill and Scroll Members capitalize on Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” to help other students


Jennifer Moore

Juniors Lily Stiegemeyer and Emma Caplinger and seniors Olivia Riemer and Hayden Sampson, are carrying bags to the truck to load donations for St. Clair high school. Bags are being carried down and loaded onto a truck to be taken to kids in need. “In the morning at 7am, we carried the bags down to the main floor, and they were all heavy. Klevens asked some of the guys that were sitting in the Art Foyer to help us carry down the bags do it went a lot faster.”Yearbook Editor -in-Chief, senior Olivia Riemer said.

Piles of garbage bags covered the floor of room 3000 for a week as Convergence Journalism students walked single file throughout the classroom to avoid falling over the clothing-filled stack.

“Over the summer I was consulting other high school advisers at the Herff Jones Yearbook Camp on how to improve their yearbook sales,” adviser Debra Klevens said. “I was talking to St. Clair High School Adviser Jennifer Moore and she told me that many of her student’s basic needs were not met, due to no fault of their own.  She wanted them to focus on a brighter future and knew a yearbook purchase was a stretch,” Klevens said.

That is when Klevens threw out the idea of students helping students. In August, Klevens suggested that Quill and Scroll, the Journalism Honor Society, host a clothing drive for the St. Clair Community Closet.

“I had been watching the show “Tidying Up” and Justin Cupps, Maria Newton and I all had been cleaning out everything in our house, so we knew that we had a couple trash bags each, and we figured that would be it,” Editor-in-Chief and senior Dani Fischer said.

Fischer then created a flyer, Klevens got approval from the Activities office and their social media campaign began.

We do completely rely on donations from others. Churches in St. Clair and non-profits around town or clubs at school often want to support the St. Clair students,” Counselor and St. Clair Community Closet Program Director Emily Sharratt said. ¨They might host drives for things we are running low on at the time. In the past, we’ve had sock drives, jean drives, coats, etc.”

Sharratt and Moore arrived with a flat-bed truck Feb. 6 to load the donations collected by the school community.

“We were not expecting the drive, so we had no idea what we were in store for. All I can say is that we are so happy and grateful for the generous spirit,” Sharratt said.

Upon returning to school, Moore had her freshmen students sort through the donations.

“Their faces were priceless! Some students just thought the closet was for kids who were homeless, in Foster Care or couldn’t afford clothes,” Moore said.

Despite the students’ perception of the donated clothes, St. Clair’s Community Closet is for all students.

“It helps their basic needs be met and for their focus to be on their future, not at the financial situation they can’t control,” Moore said. “All of my freshmen were talking about how they can’t wait to visit the Closet.”

Sharratt sent the Publications staff a thank you because she was in awe of how the drive unfolded in her community.

Two thirds of the donations were scooped up by more than 50 our appreciative students in less than 24 hrs. I’ve never seen anything like it in the three years The Closet has been open. It was like watching kids on Christmas morning: students were sorting through the clothes thinking of each other and encouraging permission to take and gratitude for receiving. It was incredible,” Sharratt said.

After the school-wide Day of Service Month of Love donation drive, the Publications program would like to do a toiletries drive for St. Clair.

“I love being able to help students that are just like us but don’t have the same luxuries as us,” podcast-artist and junior Emma Caplinger said. “We’ve already built a relationship with them and have seen the impact it made.”