Olympia High School students warm winter, hearts with donated hoodies

The engineering club at Olympia High School donated a box full of extra hoodies to Matthew’s Hope Thursday, Feb. 2.


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  • | 4:44 p.m. February 8, 2017
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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WEST ORANGE – Somewhere in Winter Garden, 16 individuals who receive aid from Matthew’s Hope are wearing a new hoodie courtesy of 20 thoughtful students involved in the Engineering Club at Olympia High School.

The black hoodies, presented in a big box to Barry Atland from the organization on Thursday, Feb. 2, were a surplus the club had bought two years ago.

“We have all these different things for the Engineering Club,” said Taryn Gilgallon, a member of the club. “We have pillows, shirts and then we have hoodies, and we had a lot of extras.”

What to do with the extra hoodies became a topic of discussion during a club meeting last semester. Considering the $25 price of each hoodie, they had initially considered selling them to regain some of money spent, but the coming cold weather invited a better idea.

“And so we thought, ‘Well, it’s Christmastime; it’s the holidays,” club adviser Thomas Corry said. “What can we do that’s meaningful and can make an impact on people’s lives?’ And so that’s how we came up with the idea.”

After brainstorming, the club decided to recuperate some of the money via a fundraiser so they could donate the hoodies to Matthew’s Hope. The students printed fliers and then went door to door in their neighborhoods to hand them out. 

“We didn’t quite make enough to pay for the cost of the hoodies, but we wanted to donate them to the cause anyway because it’s a good cause, and we were able to make a meaningful impact in people’s lives,” said Corry, who helps homeless people outside of school on a volunteer basis.

Corry hopes the experience made a positive impact on the students and encourages them to get involved.

“I work with homeless and some drug-addicted people outside of a school on a volunteer basis as well, but I didn’t get involved in that until I was in my 40s,” Corry said. “And I wish I were more involved when I was their age, so if this can open their eyes a little bit … and give them a glimpse into the reality that people with these issues go through, then that would be great.”

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Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected]

 

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