Coshocton Opportunity School clothing the needy

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Bailee Cass, a student at the Coshocton Opportunity School, hangs coats on Main Street for the needy and homeless, as part of a winter clothing drive in 2020. The project is returning this year with clothing to be hung on trees on Dec. 13.
Bailee Cass, a student at the Coshocton Opportunity School, hangs coats on Main Street for the needy and homeless, as part of a winter clothing drive in 2020. The project is returning this year with clothing to be hung on trees on Dec. 13.

COSHOCTON — The Coshocton Opportunity School is bringing back a unique clothing drive that outfitted nearly100 people for winter weather in 2020.

Items for the second annual Dress Up Coshocton clothing drive will be accepted from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7, at the fourth floor entrance of Coshocton High School. Needed are gently-used or new coats, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, other winter wear and new socks.

Clothes will be bagged and placed on hangers on tree branches along Main Street starting at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 and they can be claimed beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Items will be distributed by opportunity school students. The concept is that those in need can take appropriate clothing of the right size. Clothes will be available for children and adults.

About 40 students participated last year and all clothes were claimed in just a few hours. Diana McKee, a paraprofessional at the school, said they should have close to 50 students this year and would hope to hang more than 100 bagged outfits.

"Every year we would like to just increase the donations and what we can place on the trees for residents," she said.

Recently, McKee took literature about the project to downtown businesses so they would know the drive was occurring and hopefully get some donations.

"Last year, we felt like we didn't let the businesses on Main Street know ahead of time what we were doing. Last year, some of the business owners or employees came outside asking what we were doing," she said.

She said response was positive and many people who donated last year are planning to do so again. She said this includes one man who gave 60 pairs of heavy socks worn by hunters.

"I've had various individuals who have already gave me donations," McKee said.

Students from the Coshocton Opportunity School on Dec. 13 will hang coats and winter wear from trees along Main Street for the homeless and needy.
Students from the Coshocton Opportunity School on Dec. 13 will hang coats and winter wear from trees along Main Street for the homeless and needy.

McKee saw on Facebook where coats for the needy were put on trees in Europe with notes about their previous use. She sent information about it to her bosses, who believed it was a good and different idea for them to adapt.

McKee said they are always looking for different ways students can give back to the community. Past projects have included volunteering for the food pantry at New Life Ministries and clean up at Lake Park.

"We're just trying to teach the students that it's good to give back to the community, it's nice to help others," McKee said.

Founded in 2006, the Coshocton Opportunity School is a community school designed to meet the needs of at-risk students ages 16 to 21. It provides dropouts and other non-traditional students a chance to attain their high school diplomas. Along with standard curriculum, the school also offers classes relating to life skills, parenting, relationship building and more for life after high school.

llhayhur@coshoctontribune.com

@llhayhurst

740-295-3417

This article originally appeared on Coshocton Tribune: Coshocton Opportunity School clothing the needy

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