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Students donate 3,000 pairs of socks to Cleveland homeless



When students at Wilbur Wright School learned about the growing number of homeless families in Cleveland, they sprung into action.

Students gathered over 3,000 pairs of socks during a two-week donation drive and plan to deliver the socks to the City Mission, a local nonprofit that helps and advocates for homeless people in Cleveland.

It all started in Lynne Bures’ social studies class, when students watched a news story from Cleveland 19 News about the struggles of homeless mothers in Cleveland. Reporters talked to a mother who described her daily routine of vying for a spot in the city’s crowded homeless shelters while trying to keep her 2-year-old son busy and warm.

“With winter coming around the corner, we knew we had to take it upon ourselves to do something good for the cause,” said Joshua, an eighth-grader who helped collect the socks.

Bures' class assigned a student to visit each classroom in the building once each day to promote the sock drive and collect donations. The school also recieved socks from local churches and community organizations.

Wilbur Wright has a weekly “shout-out” assembly on Friday afternoons to celebrate student achievements and announce upcoming events. The student government leaders closed last Friday’s assembly with an announcement of the final donation count.

At the end of the schoolwide gathering, eighth-grade volunteers filed onto the auditorium stage holding bags filled with the donated socks as students and school staff cheered and applauded.

Bures said she has been teaching her classes about the importance of service and community engagement, but she was was blown away by how that message resonated and came to fruition through the sock drive.

“Wilbur Wright really came through with full flourish,” she said. “This is a busy time of year right by the holidays, and there’s so many things going on, but this took precedence.”

Students said they were excited about the outcome and comforted to know their actions would make a difference for those in need.

“When we first started this, we didn’t expect it to become such a big deal,” said Kassandra, another student who helped lead the sock drive. “The most exciting part is knowing that these kids will have something to wear and they won’t be as cold as they were before. I’m just so proud of what we have done as a school.”