Students support ‘Teens for Jeans’

WESTFIELD – The members of a student club at Westfield Vocational-Technical High School are reaching out to other students, and the community, to help area homeless teens.
Students were moved to form a Friends of Rachel club at the school after a visit by an uncle of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.
Before she was killed, Scott had made a practice of reaching out to students at her school who were new to the school, who were different, or were picked on by others.
She is remembered for saying “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”
To continue her legacy, the members of the Voc-Tech chapter of the club have chosen to participate in ‘Teens for Jeans’, a national effort to help homeless teens.
Kristine Hupfer, the faculty advisor to the club explained that one of the items most requested by young people in homeless shelters is a pair of jeans, a useful and utilitarian item which can help give them a sense of normalcy.
The goal of the club, according to Anastasia Pascari, one of the leaders of the club, is to get everyone in the school involved and one way they can participate is by donating a pair of gently used denim jeans to the project.
Collection sites have been established at all of the shops and other sites at the school and a collection bin has also been placed in the lobby of the Washington Street police station before Feb. 14.
Hupfer explained that, after the drive concludes in February, the jeans will be delivered to the Aeropostale store at the Holyoke Mall for distribution to teens in need in the area.

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