Collecting for the Community: The Youth Homelessness Resource Drive


Photo Courtesy of Ashley Corvin

Products like Ziploc bags, batteries, cutlery, lunch bags and more after being sorted into donation categories in the library at State High.

Elisa Edgar, Managing Editor

To recognize November as Youth Homeless Awareness Month, Student Government and Key Club partnered with teachers and staff at State High to run a school-wide Resources Drive from Nov. 8 to the 19, collecting resources for families all across the school district. All donations were collected at the HUB, and for each item donated, students’ names were entered into a drawing to win prizes.

Donations consisted of household items or clothes that could help with both sanitation and comfort. Students were encouraged to bring items such as children’s and adults’ gloves, mittens, scarves, adult socks, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights and batteries, aluminum foil, Ziploc bags, plastic wrap, and stick deodorant. At a recent meeting, Key Club made 14 fleece blankets that were also donated to the drive.

“Key Club was motivated in collaboration with Student Government to set this drive up when we were approached by the teacher organization, OneState,” said senior Aarshia Mehta, president of Key Club. Mehta has been in the club for four years now and has served as representative, secretary, and vice president.

Youth Homelessness Awareness Month is meant as a time to bring awareness to children and families experiencing homelessness, something as many as 2.5 million children go through every year. 

“With the winter months approaching, we thought we could put this drive together as a way to help out any and all SCASD families before the cold months ahead,” Mehta said.

Through meetings with Assistant Principal Jackie Saylor, Student Government, Key Club planned incentives, announcements, and marketing. Together, they discussed a variety of options for storing items as well as collecting them and decided that before school and during lunchtimes were optimal chances to receive donations. With a space in the library to store donations, they were set to begin the drive.

Taking the time to understand which incentives students would appreciate was crucial to Key Club officers, and once prizes such as Principal Parking for a day and Culinary Lunches were decided, advertising steps were taken to spread the word. 

Senior Clarissa Theiss, Editor of Key Club and Student Government President, worked with her peers to put together spreadsheets detailing volunteer times and forms for incentive winners. Tables and signs were set up to make sure students and staff knew where the drop-off was located. With the help of students in Key Club and Student Government, volunteers collected and stored all items received either before school or during their lunch block. 

“I hope the impact of this drive provides a sense of security for SCASD families during the next few months. Holding the drive as an annual matter would be tremendously transformative and something which can even be implemented in the spring months,” Mehta said. “Since State High’s demographic covers a large variety of students, holding drives and opportunities for every family to have what they need is so important, and I am so grateful that OneState provided this opportunity for Key Club and Student Government to provide the help that we could.”