Watertown Middle School students put out call to help families in need

Spring and summer clothes in sizes 0-14 needed before drive ends May 20


Splash photo Katherine Schick

Jojo Jane-Leonardis (left) and Sylvia Sakata stand next one of the collection boxes for the Watertown Middle School clothing drive, which is going on through May 20, 2021.

Katherine Schick, Watertown Splash staff

In recent days, Watertown Middle School has acquired some colorful new boxes in the hallways. These elaborately decorated objects are for the WMS clothing drive, a collaboration with the nonprofit organization Cradles to Crayons that will provide the clothes to children in need. The drive is taking place now through May 20.

The request is for new or new-looking spring and summer clothes, including shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, and sweat shirts, sizes 0-14. (All undergarments and socks must be new.) The clothes will go into the boxes that are located throughout the school, and the homeroom that donates the most clothes will win an ice cream party.

The state-wide service and leadership organization Project 351 has been putting this idea into action for over a month. WMS eighth-grader Sylvia Sakata, a representative to Project 351, is among the WMS student organizers.

“All kids should be able to have good quality clothes that they are comfortable in,” she said. “Everyone deserves that opportunity and everyone is owed.” 

Even teachers are contributing, like Cluster 6 science teacher Swathi Sivasubramanian, who pointed out that families living in poverty are often unable to purchase new clothes for children due to other pressing needs. This is why she is encouraging WMS families to sift through their clothes for donations.

We all have them sitting in the back of our closets somewhere,” she said.

Seventh-grader Jojo Jane-Leonardis echoed this goal.

“Go through your old clothes and pick some out to donate,” she said. “It can really go a long way.”

In addition to helping other children during difficult times, Jane-Leonardis emphasized the valuable leadership skills that participants learn through community service projects.

“This can help practice leadership, management, and organization for the kids involved,” she said. 

–May 13, 2021–