Room 121 looks more like a department store than a classroom.
“The store” at Jordan-Elbridge High School is full of about $750,000 worth of designer clothes.
“It’s a game changer," said Kim MacDonald, Jordan-Elbridge High School guidance counselor. "How often can you come to a room and grab whatever you want with brand new things, tags still on?”
Peace Inc. received more than 50 pallets of clothes earlier this year. The Ralph Lauren items never sold last year, so they were all donated instead.
"Sweatshirts, sweaters, you’ve got skirts in the back,” MacDonald said, listing off items on some of the tables. "There’s two tables of dresses, jeans, corduroys — pretty much everything you could possibly need. We’ve got a little bit of everything.”
According to the New York State Education Department, 45 percent of the students in the district are economically disadvantaged.
"I think the most important thing in realizing what we’re doing here is we’re providing help during times of need and distress, especially now during the coronavirus," said Rollin Mincher, the program manager at Peace, Inc.'s Eastwood Community Center.
Mincher helped coordinate the clothing donation.
"Jordan-Elbridge has a high concentration of people who are low income out here in the community and people who are working very hard to become self sufficient," said Mincher. "And they are a great community out here, great people to work with. I think the most important thing is to touch people who need it the most."
Students go into “the store” during lunch or study hall. They can take as much as they want, and once everyone has gotten some clothes, they'll be allowed a second shopping spree. It’s a labor of love for the guidance counselors, but they say its worth it to see the students reactions
“So many of the kids come in and say ‘I haven’t had the chance to shop. This is great. I don’t have dress clothes.' So it has been amazing,” said Jamie Susino, another guidance counselor.
This isn’t the first donation from Peace Inc. to the Jordan-Elbridge School District.
A few months ago, the donation gave more than 200 families with winter coats and gear.