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Heritage, James Clemens collaborate for needy

Heritage Elementary and James Clemens High schools worked together to help students in need.

For four years, Heritage has held rummage sales to raise money for Christmas gifts for disadvantaged students.

“This year, we were honored to have a partnership with James Clemens JROTC,” Heritage kindergarten teacher and coordinator Michele White said. “With the opening of James Clemens, we thought it would be a great way to get the schools to collaborate to better serve the community.”

James Clemens student D.J. asked instructor Col. Courtney Taylor if their JROTC could join Heritage’s effort. “Col. Taylor immediately offered his help,” White said.

“Heritage has made the rummage sale an annual philanthropic event,” Taylor said.

“We know students are in need even here in Madison,” White said. “When people think of Madison, they don’t think of poverty. Unfortunately, there are students in our community who have nothing.”

“Our JROTC cadets are involved in some type of community outreach in Madison about every other weekend, so they’re cognizant of disadvantaged families, which motivates many to participate in events that truly help our fellow citizens,” Taylor said.

Shoppers bought clothing, dishes, clocks, decorative accents, bath items, lawn and garden supplies, bikes, toys, stuffed animals and furniture. The sale gave a venue “to help our students and know that they are getting something during the holidays,” White said.

To assign gifts, a committee of teachers, administrators and the guidance counselor identify students in the most need by “reviewing economic factors, such as free or reduced lunch, students currently living in hotels and teacher recommendation,” White said. They also confirm recipients aren’t registered with local charities.

Parents complete a wish list and then pick up packages, or volunteers deliver packages if parents or guardian doesn’t have transportation. Asbury Community Thrift Store picked up leftover sale merchandise.

Others helping with the Nov. 10 sale were guidance counselor Kellen Conaway; parents Melissa Price, Robin Kennedy and Terrie Regensburger; teachers Erica Steele, Michelle Phillips, Sarah Stewart, Latrice Davis and Heritage principal Dr. Lydia Davenport.

Lynn Gibbon with Federal Express transported large items to the sale.

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