JHS NJROTC Opens New On Campus Clothing Exchange
A year-long dream for the Joshua High School NJROTC finally became a reality.
On Wednesday, January, 13, the Joshua High School Clothing Exchange opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The free exchange features shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, socks and much more for students in need. The building also has a fitting room for students to try on clothes before going to class.
This project started as a partnership with the Elder Elementary PTSO that had been running the clothing exchange program, and JROTC students who were wanting to volunteer for community service hours.
"I thought it would be great to have a more centralized operation for our students, so I spoke with Lt. Col. Jim Davidson who was on board and got me in touch with our construction teacher to get a building," said Senior NJROTC Cadet Master Chief Petty Officer Grant Lewis.
The project gained momentum last year, and the JISD Board of Trustees funded the initiative by donating $10,000 for a new building. JISD construction students built the facility, and the JISD Facilities Department helped set up the wiring. Much of the work that needed to be done was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed last Fall.
"This was a total team effort," said Cadet Lewis. "Not only did the Board and Administration support us, but so did the construction students and the athletics department by helping us wash clothes that were donated by the community. The cadets helped fold and sort all of the items. It was a great experience."
The exchange will be used for a variety of purposes. In addition to helping students that may not have enough clothes at home, the facility can help any students that are out of dress code or replace clothes that get wet or dirty throughout the school day; which can cause a distracting learning environment.
"If students need items, come get them," said Lewis. "The clothes were vetted by us and we know that our fellow classmates would wear them. We're just here to help."
The clothing exchange will be open for one hour before school begins and for a few minutes at the start of each period. While the initial plan for the exchange is to only be available for students, Lewis hopes to expand operations over the summer and include the JISD community as part of their efforts.
If you would like to donate clothes, please contact the NJROTC office at 817-202-2500 ext. 1148. Items most in need are coats and men's blue jeans.