WESTFIELD, NJ — For the fourth straight year, students at Westfield High School led a clothing drive for people in need, collecting more than 2,100 items over the spring and summer to be given to three local charities, according to Jane D’Alessandro, a teacher who oversaw the effort.

“As in the past, we asked for jeans and pants of any style, size, color and make,” said D’Alessandro. “Many ask if we will take very nice new or like-new clothing. And, yes, we find a place to donate all that is given to us.”

Jeans weren’t the only items they received. They also got pants, socks, gowns, pajamas and more.

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“This year the collection was mostly created through anonymous donations,” D’Alessandro said. “Of interest, we donated much of our collection to our newest group this year. In the tradition of [late WHS principal] Dr. Derrick Nelson’s habit of helping others, I read about an organization in Morristown called Market Street Mission which helps those experiencing homelessness, addiction and/or recovery. Their positive goal of helping those in need in numerous ways seemed a worthy one to support through the donation of much of our collection.”

Market Street Mission also has a thrift shop, D’Alessandro said, so during June and early July, they collected and donated small household items.

Items were also donated to a church that supports refugee families and The Plainfield Salvation Army. 

The 2020 collection will begin during the second semester of this school year, D’Alessandro said.

In total, WHS students have collected and donated more than 6,400 items over the years, she said.

“I thank all those who thoughtfully brought items to help others,” D’Alessandro said. “I truly appreciate their continued generosity.”

MORE GIVING BACK: Charity Spotlight: Intensive Family Support Service