Washington Woods Elementary helped more than 275 people stay warm during the winter months at its 11th annual Clothing Drive. Brian Sawa, Washington Woods Elementary counselor, who established the event 11 years ago, said crowds stayed longer than usual as they shopped and took clothes home for their families.
Washington Woods also found ways to contribute to other nonprofit organizations at the clothing drive.
“We collected $107 in donations for the Amanda Strong Foundation, Inc.,” Sawa said. “We had a lot of stuff, probably two-thirds of it left on Saturday. The rest of it was donated to Third Phase in Noblesville.”
Lots of groups joined together to help sort, fold and organize the clothing for the giveaway:
Washington Woods Before and After Care children
Washington Woods Student Council
Many Washington Woods classrooms
Sodexo Support Services
Westfield Chamber of Commerce
City of Westfield employees
Westfield Lions Club
Westfield High School Leo Club
CrossRoads at Westfield Church
Westfield Rotary Club
4-H Harey Hoppers Rabbit Club
Sawa said the most impressive part of the event is seeing the mutually-beneficial connection. He said the dedication year after year from families wanting to help others says a lot about Westfield.
“It’s an event from which everyone involved has benefitted. This event happens every year because we have a great community supporting the effort,” Sawa said. “It starts with families willing to take the time to clean out their closets, follows with many volunteers to sort clothes and ends with a lot of thankful people who were able to take advantage of the community’s generosity.”
Sawa said the students sort and fold clothes to prepare for the clothing drive and he said it’s an excellent way to introduce volunteering as part of their lives.
“By having kids take part in the experience, our hope is it will reinforce the message at a young age that we all can play a role in making our community a better place for ourselves and others as well,” Sawa said.