Francis Tuttle students collect clothes to help families at Christmas

Marketing and Entrepreneurship students at the Francis Tuttle Center for Technology have created a campaign to sell clothes to families in need this Christmas season.

“We knew we wanted to do something that would help the community,” said Mia Oates, of Edmund Memorial High School.

The students came up with the acronym HUGS

“It means hats, underwear, gloves, and socks,” said Destiny Ngigi, of Deer Creek High School.

From the acronym, HUGS for the Heart was created.

“We thought this would be a really good thing to give back to the communities especially during the coming winter months, when a lot of people are going to need winter clothing,” Oates said.

Then the students came with a marketing campaign that started with their own schools and expanded to other schools and companies and included other elements.

“We’ve received a lot of jeans; we’ve received a lot of pants. We’ve received over 100 coats, and we’re very proud of that,” Oates said.

With over 200 pairs of socks, and nearly 100 pairs of jeans and T-shirts, the students were very excited about their efforts. Now, they had to decide where to donate them.

“We knew we wanted a more community-driven nonprofit. We wanted to see where our donations would go,” Oates said.

“They’re going to Sharing Tree, which is a non-profit organization, all donations go to families and people in need,” said Macayla Worley, a student at Putnam City West High School.

After touring the Sharing Tree, the ladies knew it was the right place for their donations.

“Sharing Tree exists to provide people in need with a dignified shopping experience at no cost,” said Lizzie Bozarth, of Sharing Tree.

“We are set up just like a department store with nicely new and used clothes, shoes, and homeware, and at Christmas time we offer brand new toys,” Bozarth said.

Christmas is too busy to share the tree.

“We just served 120 families and we still have 240 families who need to come and shop with us before Christmas,” Bozarth said.

Although they get a lot of donations, the items from the kids are very special.

“That’s crazy. It’s amazing that they want to get involved at such a young age, and hope that the giving spirit will follow them all their lives,” Bozarth said.

Donations from young people are really necessary, Bozarth said, because a lot of their donations are for adults.

The project helped the students with their organizational and leadership skills. While they all admit it was hard work, the idea of ​​helping families in need made it all worthwhile.

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