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Murray Journal

What to wear? Now Murray High students can select clothes from school closet

Feb 03, 2021 10:39AM ● By Julie Slama

Murray High’s support staff/office assistant Wendy Hildebrand and auto shop teacher and student body adviser Jackie Martin display some of the items available at the new Spartan Thrift closet. (Scott Wihongi/Murray High School)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Students without much in the way of clothes don’t stick out at Murray High—and that’s a good thing.

Thanks to the efforts of some folks who don’t want to be in the limelight, Murray High has a free clothing closet filled with not only winter clothing items for teens in need, but everyday clothes they can wear to school, hang out in or put on for a job interview.

“We have coats, gloves, scarves, hats, pants, shirts, dresses, socks, suits, shoes, boots that teachers and others have donated,” said Wendy Hildebrand, Murray High support staff/office assistant. “A lot of it is new, but we do have some gently used items. But it’s clothes they’ll wear, not Grandpa’s old shirts. One teacher was shopping at Costco, called to see what was needed and brought in some new coats.”

Called Spartan Thrift, the closet has items of all sizes that could fit a high school student. Donations they’ve received in younger student sizes have been shared with Parkside Elementary.

The need for Spartan Thrift was defined after School Resource Officer Russ Burnside saw a student wearing his dad’s dirty clothes, Hildebrand said.

That inspired her and others to clean out old records and holiday decorations in a storage closet in the back of the security room, room 118, and make better use of the space.

“Students can come anytime during the day to grab stuff they want and need,” Hildebrand said. “We hope kids will come utilize it. They can come get one of us to open it up and feel comfortable to ‘shop’ on their own to get clothes for themselves and family members.”

Hildebrand, who said this is the first time she’s organized a clothing closet, said that as soon as she put out the word there was a need at Murray High, she received donations.

“People want to help, they want to make sure these high school students have what they need,” she said. “People just started bringing in bags and bags of clothes.”

She said she was able to work on and organize Spartan Thrift while the school building was temporarily closed because of positive COVID-19 cases. She also put out the word that the clothing closet was now open.

Murray High also has a Cinderella Closet filled with formal wear students can check out for school dances and events.