Students in need are receiving some post-break assistance thanks to Heroes with Hope.
The organization has been delivering socks, underwear, travel-sized shampoo and other basic supplies to area schools. Heroes with Hope started out as a local branch of Shop with Cops.
“We delivered them to Plainview and Ardmore Middle School, and Monday we’re headed to Charles Evans,” executive director Melissa Woolly said. “In the past we’ve donated coats, but this year is the first time we’ve done donations of socks and things like this since we changed names.”
Woolly said the organization started collecting socks and underwear in August.
“We have a supply and periodically we call the schools and ask them if they need anything,” Woolly said. “And now, with the school break over and the weather so cold, they were all like ‘Yes! Definitely!”
AMS Behavior Interventionist Stephanie Hacker, who runs the school’s food pantry and clothes closet, said the timing couldn’t have been better.
“We’ve teamed up with them before,” Hacker said. “You don’t have to call them, either. Woolly just calls us and says ‘do you need help on this?’”
Heroes with Hope also helped the pantry supply students with food over their winter break, a long stretch of time away from school that can be a struggle for families who rely on free and reduced lunch. Hacker said the stretch immediately after the holidays can also be trying.
“This time is critical,” Hacker said. “During Christmas there’s a lot of resources available but in January and February, they really struggle. So the demand for clothing goes up at the school.”
Hacker said the day Woolly called to offer the donations, a student had to go to the nurse’s office for blisters on his feet after not wearing socks for days.
“It just came together like that, we were able to give him what he needed,” Hacker said.
For the new year, Heroes with Hope is working on a transition program that will help kids prepare to join the workforce after high school. Students will work on their interview skills, practice filling out a job application and learn about local job opportunities.
“We’re going to go into everything,” Woolly said. “From the basics to their personal finances.”