Leadership Jackson provides Dignity Closet for Students, Requests Sponsors
Leadership Jackson’s (LJ) 2018 class group known as the Grizzlies partnered with Jackson-Madison County School System (JMCSS) in the fall of 2018 to provide a Dignity Closet in public schools. This “closet” provides access to washers, dryers and hygiene items for students in need. The program has been implemented in a few schools, with a goal to reach every school in the community. Leadership Jackson is requesting more sponsors to help.
With 23% of our community living in poverty, many students lack access to basic hygiene care and laundry facilities. School years are a time full of many changes and challenges for students and the Grizzlies wanted to ensure that meeting basic hygiene needs would not continue to be one of those challenges. The group was told that teacher and guidance counselors were taking some of the children’s clothing to their own homes to wash them for students. The Grizzlies took action, creating the Leadership Jackson Dignity Closet.
Two schools identified by JMCSS to implement the project were Parkway Middle School and Parkview Learning Center. This project provides students with essential hygiene products and a discreet area in school to have clothes laundered as needed per recommendation of the school counselor, nursing and/or teaching staff.
The Grizzlies and the school system would like to see the project expand to every school in Madison County, so every child with this need has the opportunity to use the resources provided by the LJ Dignity Closet. The goal for this project is to make washers, dryers, and hygiene items accessible to as many schools as possible.
Currently, North Parkway Middle School, Parkview Learning Center, Jackson Career and Technology, and Nova Pre-K all have a washer and dryer along with detergent and hygiene items donated by the partnership with Leadership Jackson’s Dignity Closet.
“We are doing well right now as far as our partnerships, our monthly sponsors and those who have currently made large donations but we want to expand into other schools,” said Shelby Matthis, one of the leaders of the Dignity Closet efforts. “Ultimately, we need more sponsors to realize this is a need and donate in order to make our goal of every school a reality.”
For more information on how to donate to the Dignity Closet contact, Shelby Matthis at firstname.lastname@example.org.