High School unveils ‘Blessings Closet’

The school year starts up in less than a month, but in addition to the lack of school supplies, many children are in need of new clothing, including shoes. Cloudland High School in Roan Mountain just unveiled their solution to this problem.

School Counselor Shellie McKinney unveiled the school’s new “Blessing Closet” Friday morning, and within three hours, they already had two families come to sample what they had to offer before the year began.

“It is awesome,” McKinney said.

The Blessings Closet comes from a group idea between teachers and community members around February or March.

“I always took clothes donations in my office,” she said. “We are blessed to have a community that really wants to be involved.”

The Closet is an expansion of this idea. Currently tucked away in a spare closet in one of the classrooms, Cloudland High School provides many different kinds of clothing, including shirts, pants and shoes. They also provide suits and dresses for prom or Homecoming celebrations.

She said the success of the closet comes from the closeness between the school and the community it serves.

“Our whole school is a family unit,” McKinney said.

Now that the Closet is open and the school year is approaching, McKinney said they plan to expand the items they have available, including adding school supplies and providing more seasonal items including winter gear.

“I am always looking for resources for the students,” she said. “I would love for it to expand.”

The Closet’s contents are 100 percent free for those who need them, and McKinney said she is looking into ways to keep the Closet open during the summer months next year.

For McKinney, she said the biggest part of the project is the community who both benefits from and supports it.

“We really appreciate the community involvement,” she said. “It makes our school special. The kids know they are cared for, getting supplies they cannot get at home.”

Those looking to benefit from or donate to the Closet can contact the school at (423) 772-5300. The school itself is located at 476 Cloudland Drive in Roan Mountain.

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