North Surry High School’s Spanish Club continued its tradition of collecting coats for needy local persons as members Thursday turned over 92 coats to A Cleaner World dry cleaners in Mount Airy.
According to Spanish Club President Jackie Albright, the group became interested in collecting coats because their international studies taught them how little people in other countries have. Albright said other clubs in the school collect food and help to help meet local needs so coats seemed a natural thing to do to help the community.
“Club members set up boxes for donations, made calls and fliers to be distributed in the school and community,” said Albright. “We made announcements in English and Spanish every day about the project as well. People in the community were supportive. If they couldn’t donate, they still tried to help in some way.”
Club member Ollie Horner said the time of the year also encouraged the club to collect jackets because the cold temperatures. She said A Cleaner World in Mount Airy traditionally takes their donations, cleans them when necessary and turns the coats over the The Salvation Army.
“We really had a lot more support from the school this year,” said Horner. “Another thing that made us more successful this year was we knew what to do better than we have before.”
Club members present to turn over the coats all indicated they felt pleased with the outcome of their work and were happy to have a chance to give comfort to others.
A Cleaner World owner Lee Lawson said the firm has been participating in coat projects for more than eight years. She said the firm traditionally begins its own coat collection drive from the end of October until the day after Thanksgiving.
“We love doing this. It is such a great cause,” said Lawson. “Every year I’m amazed at how enthusiastic the kids are. They try to get more and more coats. I think it’s wonderful to see them giving back to those not as fortunate as they are.”
Lawson said anyone is welcome to come to the firm and donate coats.
“Every coat is washed or dry cleaned and sent to the Salvation Army,” added Lawson. “We deliver coats twice a week to them. We’d be glad to take one or 100 in donations.” She said A Cleaner World is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
“They were passionate about their cause,” said Horner. The two Lady Greyhounds said they attended Spanish I and II classes together as well as being club members. Albright said the group is planning to coordinate a dance program that could concentrate on teaching Hispanic dances such as the tango.
North Surry Spanish teacher and club sponsor Hope Ward said the club has just finished its yearly activities at the school highlighting Hispanic Heritage Month as well as a week concentrating on activities to introduce students to aspects of Hispanic culture. She said she was proud of how the students had worked together and went outside of the school to get donations.
Albright and Horner, who are now taking Spanish III at the school, said they just wanted to learn another language and have no specific plans to turn their interest into a career.
“I have learned that there is a difference in learning Spanish and just hearing Spanish and having to react,” added Horner. “It’s a beautiful language and we figured it would be something good to know.”
It seems the study of Spanish has established a tradition of this group thinking internationally but acting locally.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.