The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

February 15, 2013

Remy International donates clothing to Highland

ANDERSON, Ind. — There’s often a perceived notion that youth have their eyes too glued to a TV screen or computer to really know what’s going on in the world around them.

But there are those who have a very real grasp on the struggles among their peers and in their communities.

“Not everyone has clothes, not everyone has food, not everyone has a roof over their head,” Highland Middle School sixth grader Sharon Kulali said. “We should be thankful for what we have. Not everyone has it.”

Kulali and other students at Highland were thankful for the clothing — two air freight containers full of it — that Remy International donated for students to wear.

Choir director Debbie Andis’ class helped pass the clothing out to some of the students Friday when Remy stopped by for a presentation.

Sixth grader Preston Davis said it feels good to see others’ faces when they’re happy because they’ve received help and know others care.

Sixth grader Sereta Burrows added that what Remy did was very generous.

“They didn’t have to do that for us,” she said.

Andis, one of the teachers who’s been working with Remy on the donation, said it began at the start of the school year.

Anderson Community Schools has a dress code that includes belts at the middle and high school levels.

She said a student teacher noticed that many of the kids were being written up for not wearing them. They realized it was because they didn’t have them.

So both went to various Goodwill stores to find what they could and hand them out. Andis’ husband also asked around work at Remy and later brought in a garbage bag full of belts, along with monetary donations.

It grew from there as Remy’s human resources manager sent out a message about the kids needing clothing items.

“All of a sudden, there was a huge response,” Andis said.

A group in Korea said they wanted to help; another group in China soon got involved.

Now, it could become an annual event.

“We have some kids who wear the same things to school every single day,” she said, adding there’s an 89 percent free and reduced lunch rate at the school.

Davis said he can tell that some students don’t have much, noting some come in with holes in their shoes.

And, he said, some unfortunately get bullied for it.

“But it’s not their fault,” he said. “They (the bullies) don’t know their story.”

Kulali said youth may not be able to solve all these problems, but that they do have power when it comes to “how you treat other people.”

The students noted that the donation will make a difference for many of the kids at Highland.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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