Lenape Regional High School District kicks off its annual Goodwill clothing drive

From now until Nov. 13, the four high schools will be competing for the most donations.

Kaylee Blash making a donation at the commencement of the Goodwill donation drive on Oct. 1st at Shawnee High School.

By Melissa Riker
The Sun

The Lenape Regional High School District has kicked off yet another Goodwill clothing drive for the 2018–2019 school year.

Beginning in 2011, the district decided to organize a friendly competition between the four high schools — Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee and Seneca — to see which could collect the largest amount of clothing donations.

Students, staff and community members are invited to participate in this clothing drive, with Goodwill donation bins located at each high school. The bins were put in place on Sept. 24 and they will remain on site through Nov. 13.

According to a press release on the drive, Goodwill, a nonprofit, community-based organization, collects and sells gently-used donated items to fund mission programs such as The Helms Academy. This program provides the opportunity for adults ages 18 and over, who have left secondary schooling, to earn their high school diploma 100 percent tuition-free while simultaneously earning college credit.

This year’s annual clothing drive commencement event was held on Oct. 1 at Shawnee High School, where the Goodwill President and CEO Mark Boyd joined Superintendent Carol Birnbohm, Assistant Superintendent Matthew Webb, Shawnee Principal Matthew Campbell and various students in a ribbon-cutting beside the donation bins.

“One of the Lenape Regional High School District goals from our previous long-range plan was to instill, in all students, civic responsibility and the desire to serve their communities throughout their lives,” Birnbohm said. “Partnering with Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey allows an opportunity for our students to connect with an organization designed to help local residents.”

Last year, between the four high schools, 3,895 bags of gently used clothing and accessories were donated, equaling 89,585 pounds.

Lenape donated an average of 4.07 pounds per student, Shawnee donated 10.9 pounds per student, Cherokee donated 20.8 pounds per students and Seneca donated 18.04 pounds per student.

Since 2011, the district, along with community members, have donated more than 342,000 pounds of clothing for Goodwill.

This year’s donations will be monitored through each high school’s website, in average pounds collected per student, as a means for all students, staff and community members to tap into this competition as it unfolds.

“This ‘family synergy’ has spurred an atmosphere of giving and yielded abundant donations to the Goodwill. While one school will be dubbed the champion, the real winners are all the local residents who can benefit from Goodwill Industries programs,” Birnbohm said. “I am very fortunate to have staff who love working with our students and who provide our students with a variety of opportunities of volunteer service. The teenagers in our schools do a lot of good. Each day they amaze and inspire me.”

This year’s clothing drive champion will be crowned at the Turkey Bowl game taking place at the Cherokee High School stadium.