‘This is amazing’: Sacred Heart School donates almost 2,000 pairs of children’s underwear to Curt’s Closet

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Ashley Wilson (center) of Curt’s Closet with the sixth-grade class of Sacred Heart School (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – On Tuesday, Sacred Heart School hosted Ashley Wilson and Helen Lewis from Curt’s Closet, to present the local clothing charity an early Christmas gift of 1,978 pairs of brand-new children’s underwear and a $250 cash donation, all collected by students of the elementary school.

Second-grade teacher Jennifer Grey, who began the project, told The Tribune, “I started the project with my Beta Club. Beta Club always does some kind of fundraiser; you typically do two a year. I spoke with Ashley Wilson and she said they were in desperate need of underwear for children. So Beta Club voted, and we decided to do this for Curt’s Closet.”

Wilson and Lewis joined the students of the sixth-grade class, which took the top spot in an inter-class competition with more than 500 pairs, for a pizza party lunch and the presentation of the “Captain Underpants” trophy, a just-for-fun (and amazingly appropriate!) award based on the character from the popular Scholastic/Blue Sky book series by Dav Pilkey. 

Sixth-grade teacher Brandi Lumley said, “I have a wonderful group of students. I have 18 students within my class- great personalities, work well together. They are hard workers; during this whole competition, they really tried their best and were very competitive.

“We talked about what the need was for, why it was important. They loved the idea. They loved, of course, the ‘Captain Underpants’ aspect of it; everyone does! But they worked so hard, bringing in underwear and working with each other, promoting it to one another, trying to get everyone in the class involved. That’s what really helped us bring in the most pairs, is because it wasn’t just one person. It was really a class effort. They’re a great class. I can’t brag on them enough!”

After she saw the stacks of boxes lined up down the school hallway, Wilson said, “(It was) pure joy and a lot of tears, but happy tears! When I was told they were doing this, I had no idea. I thought maybe a hundred pairs, which is amazing. And then Helen sent me a text where they had collected over 1,700 on the last day, but more have come in since then.

“I know that seems like a tremendous lot of underwear, but in reality, it’s like a month-and-a-half- to two-month supply at Curt’s Closet, because we average 200 kids a month, and at six pair each, that is about a month-and-a-half- or two-month supply. They go quick, and we appreciate it so much.”

Wilson told the story of a local family whose children received clothes from Curt’s Closet, whose caregiver related one child’s favorite part of the clothing assistance he received.

According to Wilson, the caregiver shared, “She said it was the underwear. She said that the oldest one kept going on about how he hadn’t had any underwear in so long, and he said, ‘They don’t even have holes in them!’ What we take for granted, there’s a lot of kids that do without. This is amazing, and I appreciate the hard work.”

Get involved

With the volume of visits it gets regularly, Curt’s Closet can still use donations of new underwear and socks. Wilson reported the ministry is also currently short on new or gently used blue jeans and tennis shoes. Between the numbers of clients it serves and donations it receives and gets ready for distribution, the group can also use volunteers.

To give, volunteer or get more information, visit www.facebook.com/cw20curtscloset/ or call 256-735-4557.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com