Home-schooled teenagers set up community clothing rack downtown

As January is in full force, the weather approaches single-digits, prompting many residents to consider ditching work and burying themselves deeper into their covers. Not everyone has covers to bury into, however. In many cases, they might not even have a house to shelter themselves with from the elements.

Members of Elizabethton’s TEACH BETA Club met at the Carter County Drug Prevention’s office midday Wednesday to assemble a clothing rack to place outside the main office.

This rack will hold winter weather clothing including coats, hats and scarves for passers-by to use during the colder weeks of the year.

Evan Blankenship, a 10th grader, said the idea came from their repeated encounters with people who would come into the CCDP during their occasional evening meeting.

“People often came into the building just to get warm,” Blankenship said.

Jocelyn Marr, an 11th grader, said many people simply do not have a place to go when the weather gets into single-digit temperatures and negative wind chill, and she said participating in projects like these is important.

“It is helpful if everyone is participating in this,” Marr said.

This is not the first project the group of home-schooled teenagers has participated in with the CCDP, but they said this project will rely on community support to keep the clothing rack stocked.

“We want to show the community we care,” Marr said.

As the group drilled holes into two halves of an industrial pallet, 11th grader Caitlyn Denham said it felt good knowing their work was going to a good cause.

“We know we can do things to benefit people who need it,” she said.

According to them, however, service to the community does not end when they screw in the last bolt. Blankenship said there are many different ways to get involved.

“People need to advertise the need the community has,” he said. “You can stand out at a corner and scream it, or you can put out flyers or even post on social media.”

Denham said awareness and knowledge is vital to improving the assistance people provide.

“People might not know how to help,” she said.

Those looking to donate clothes to the rack can do so by simply dropping off the winter clothes at the CCDP office at 546 E. Elk Ave.

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