HAINES CITY, Fla. — Students at one Polk County High School no longer have to worry about not having basic necessities.
The growing need for assistance during the pandemic became apparent at Haines City High School.
“Earlier this year a teacher emailed me and said their student had one pair of shoes and they were falling apart, so that day I got the student some shoes and I was like ok, it’s time we really need to get this off the ground,” said Morgan Hammett, IB Resource Specialist.
Morgan Hammett began collecting shoes, school supplies and hygiene products last September and by December, she had enough to open the Hornet Closet.
When students visit the Hornet Closet, they’ll not only find school supplies but there are prom dresses and business attire too. There’s even a fitting room for students to try on items if they want to.
“Kids come in and they’re like, 'I get to keep this is? This is mine?' And they’re just amazed. When I see them on campus, I get to say, 'hey that looks good on you,' or 'I love that jacket that you got,' and it just makes them feel so good,” Hammett said.
Students like sophomore Cayden Anglin, know how valuable this resource is. “I was able to get a new book-bag which was a big relief because I didn’t have to worry about getting a new one from the store. That means I did not have to carry books with my hands,” he said.
While donations have poured in from the staff and community, the Hornet Closet has a wish list for essential items. Hammett said the pandemic has shown just how great the need is.
“Some people that may have been able to afford it last year, are just not in that situation this year. So, this closet is so important for the success of our students and make them feel more accepted in school,” Hammett said.
If you would like to support the Hornet Closet, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.