Byrnes students celebrate new clothing closets
With the snipping of scissors, Byrnes High students officially opened the doors to Rebel Racks and Byrnes Boutique last week, celebrating the culmination of a summer-long Impact Club project and the beginning of a mission.
The two stores comprise the male and female clothing closets now available to students during Power Hour, regardless of need.
Science teacher Rhonda Dodson along with Interact Club students began the effort by collecting, sorting and displaying donations.
“I’m especially grateful to have an idea come to fruition and today is a celebration of that,” Dodson said. “I want to extend thanks to the community for their generous donations and assure them that they are going to great use.”
Club members celebrated the volunteer hours spent at school.
“It was a lot of time and dedication,” said Alexander Butz.
“I knew it would look nice, but I didn’t know it would look this nice,” said Gabrielle Butz, Vice President.
“It exceeds our expectations,” said President Skyler Tipton.
Other school staff offered their support as well. Lacey Swope served as a teacher leader; Kevin Wyatt as an academic assistant; and Jerry Rice as a job coach.
Principal Todd Hardy gave his blessing to the project; and teacher Rhonda Demumbreum designed custom signs (pictured right) for each of the stores.
Swope’s Career Preparation Class joined in to help the organizers when school began in August, adding 17 more student helpers.
“There are multiple benefits (to the students). The point of the class is to get them ready to go out and to gain competitive employment,” she said. “Students have been hanging clothes, learning how to display merchandise, reading sizes, sorting…these are really transferable skills to jobs.”
“I like to hang up stuff and look at the different sizes,” said student Khori Dowdle.
“It helps people out that don’t have many clothes. They come in here and pick out clothes that they want and they can keep them. It will be good for them. I think it will be good for the school, too.”
As the Byrnes chapter sponsor of the Interact Club, the Spartan West Rotary Club has been invested in the project since the beginning–following progress, donating items, and helping purchase display racks. Members Bob Atkins and Natalie Kramer were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“It’s an idea that has come to fruition and it’s all been because of not only Rhonda, but Skylar, Gabby, and Alexander (Butz). They’ve put in a lot of work during the summer, and it’s not just about them, it’s about helping the whole community. This is what the community is about. It makes me proud,” Atkins said.
“I’m glad to be a part of it and see all that’s been done. It looks great,” Kramer added.
The clothing closet will be open to students for the entire school year during Power Hour. Donations for any season can be dropped off in the school office.
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