Dec. 15, 2017
While other IPS schools are focusing on giving and receiving holiday gifts, Shortridge High School is taking a different approach.
Students and staff are gearing up for the Goodwill Township Drive, an annual competition with the goal of collecting the largest donation for the nonprofit organization. Shortridge competed against other central Indiana schools last year and won. This year, students and staff are looking for a repeat, but need the community’s help to pull it off.
To assist, drop off donations at any central Indiana Goodwill store from Jan. 1 through Jan. 31, 2018. But be sure to mention your donation is part of the Goodwill Township Drive for Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School. Donations can also be dropped off at Shortridge, 3401 N. Meridian St., between school hours Monday through Friday.
While the accolades of securing another win would be great, that’s really not why the IB school — which has a focus of community service — participates.
“The main reason we do it is to promote donating to Goodwill right after the holidays,” said Lori Armstrong, partnership coordinator at Shortridge. “The store inventories drop after the heavy holiday shopping season and people tend to do New Year decluttering in January. We promote directing that clutter to Goodwill instead of the landfill to preserve the environment and build up their inventory.
“In return, Goodwill Industries uses the income from their thrift stores to provide educational opportunities and job training programs to our friends, family and neighbors who need a new or different opportunity to make their way forward.”
However, the school community isn’t just helping people they’ve never met. Participating also helps Shortridge students who need assistance. Every 13-gallon bag of textiles or box of household goods collected for Shortridge is counted with a bar code system at the donation centers. The school is credited with their donation and receives a $5 voucher for each bag or box.
“Our Student Support Team then has a supply of vouchers to help our students as needs arise for new uniforms, coats or shoes for every day needs or business wear for job and scholarship interviews, honors and awards events in the community, or other times dressing up is needed,” said Trisha Miller, the school’s social worker. “We are especially excited that the vouches for 2018 will also be able to apply to household items if needed.”
To add a bit of fun to the event, senior Samantha K. added a school-based fashion show last year to help spread the word about the drive. This year, she’s doing it again. But instead of a high-fashion runway show, all of the models sport clothing from Goodwill.
“I’ve always been a Goodwill fan; I go there like once or twice a month. I’ve always supported the cause and I thought since we already got the drive, why not do a fashion show,” said Samantha, who also used the show as a community service project for the year. “It’s a great way to show what Goodwill has to offer and to talk about the drive.”
This year’s fashion show will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, inside the Caleb Mills Auditorium at Shortridge.
Whether it’s through Goodwill or any other organization, Samantha believes giving back is an obligation.
“I’m here on this planet and I’m living in this community and I feel like if I’m going to be a part of it, I need to participate in a way that not only benefits myself but benefits others,” she said. “And so bringing the school into that … the school as a whole is already a community and I feel that this community can benefit other communities by doing things like donating to Goodwill.”