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Donation Room at MHS Now Open
Posted On:
Monday, September 10, 2018
MHS Copa Closet
MHS Copa Closet
Reprinted from September 4th Maricopa Monitor Article by Bethany Blundell

(Maricopa) While often unseen, there are many students in the Maricopa Unified School District whose needs go unmet. To help combat that problem, staff and students at Maricopa High School started the Copa Closet. Copa Closet is a donation room where students can go during school hours and pick up any supplies they may need. It is completely anonymous, and students can take as much or as little as needed. “Basically, they can come get whatever they want,” said MHS Counselor Amber Liermann. Some of the items provided through Copa Closet are school supplies, clothes, shoes, hygiene products and non-perishable food. If there is something the student needs that is not available in the closet at the time, they can write what they need on a “requested items” list, and Liermann said they will do everything they can to get it. The closet will also have a “sibling supply spot.” These are donations that may not be the size a high schooler would wear, but something that a family member could utilize. “They are encouraged to take items home to their siblings too,” Liermann said.

 

While there, students can also sign up for the Our Children Matter program. This is a local nonprofit organization that sends students home with food each Friday to get them through the weekend. The idea for Copa Closet started last spring when a fellow MUSD counselor at the middle schools saw how big of a need there was in the district. Liermann said, up until that point, the counselors had tried to meet needs on an individual basis, but they weren’t as effective as they hoped they could be. “That’s when we figured we would try meeting these needs on more of a global level,” she said. Liermann said she really wanted the project to be a collaborative effort within the school and the community. To help with that, she requested the help of the Workplace Skills Class.

 

This is a group of about 20 students who will be split into smaller groups and will be responsible for sorting supplies and stocking the closet. The teacher of the class, Jennifer Parker, said they will create various jobs — such as manager, stocker, distributor, etc. — and the students will have to apply and interview for that position. “It just helps them with job skills because a lot of them won’t go to college, but still need that job practice,” Parker said. “This provides them with real skills they are going to need.”

 

The MHS Student Council has also pitched in a helping hand. Liermann said they have a lot of donated clothes, but nothing to hang them on. So the student council decided to host a hanger drive, that is currently ongoing. Copa Closet will begin serving students Sept. 6. They will be open every Thursday during MHS lunch hours, from 10:35 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Community members who would like to donate to the closet can drop off all donations at the MHS front desk. “We just want our students to feel supported, and if providing needs like that can do that, then that’s the goal,” Liermann said. “Students can’t learn until they feel safe and provided for.”

 

For more information about Maricopa High School or about the Maricopa Unified School District please call 520.568.5100 or visit the District’s website at www.maricopausd.org

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