This school year, every Academy participated in a community service project of their choice. Ms. Pechersky’s 10th grade Academy students discussed many opportunities and decided to organize a clothing drive to help people in need. During several months, they worked to mobilize the East –West community and have as many donations of gently worn clothes as possible.
The students led by their own example. They brought in multiple items several times. They regularly spoke to the students and staff in Muster. They engaged their families and friends outside of school. At the same time, during Academy, they learned the rules and skills of public speaking to make their appeals more convincing. They explored our Queens community resources online, analyzed their findings, and decided where to donate the clothes.
While planning, preparing, conducting, and completing the project, the students could learn that there are always ways to help others. You don’t have to be rich or to donate money. Even people of modest means can make a difference in the lives of others. The main thing is to be kind, generous, understanding, and tolerant. There are many hardworking people in difficult live situations, who are poor and need help. There are many reasons and factors out of their control that make people poor. The goal of the society and each local community is too help these people overcome the difficulties.
The community’s response was overwhelming. Many students and staff members brought in bags full of shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, jackets, sweaters, and smaller items, such as hats, gloves, baby clothing, towels, bags, and pieces of fabric. As a part of the project, students folded, sorted, and counted the items. By the end of the clothing drive, there were 336 (!) items in more than 20 bags! On April 7, Ms. Pechersky and her students went to the Goodwill Donation Center in Astoria to deliver them. They concluded the project by celebrating their community spirit at a Japanese fusion cuisine restaurant nearby.
Ms. Pechersky’s Academy wants to thank the entire East-West community, families, and staff members for opening their hearts and being responsive to the needs of others. There is no doubt that the great variety of gently worn, almost new, and brand new items that were donated will be a great support to the people in need during all seasons and for many occasions.