Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

PMHS junior gives school supplies and clothing a charitable second life in homeless shelters

Laura Shelton

Pelham Memorial High School junior Skyler Austin was shocked when she discovered years worth of school supplies in her basement. Austin knew the supplies collecting dust had the potential to help at least twenty less fortunate students during the upcoming school year. Retrieving and restoring what she could of the materials, Austin brainstormed ways that she and others around her could give back to neighboring communities. 

Austin talked with family friends. “It seemed that a lot of other people had leftover supplies that were also just sitting around their basements, and they didn’t know what to do with them,” she said. Rather than throwing all of it out, Austin proposed the idea of collecting and giving the supplies a new life helping other children. 

“I decided to have a drive for school supplies,” Austin said. “It was mostly used school supplies, and I would go through it all to sharpen the pencils and make sure the markers were okay and things like that.”

After kicking off the collection process, Austin sought places she would donate the resources. When considering local organizations, she reflected on the various less fortunate communities that neighbor Pelham and found the Four Bronx Project, a nonprofit organization supporting the underserved and bringing diversity and inclusion to its community. 

Laura Shelton

The Four Bronx Project, founded and directed by Laura Levine-Pinedo, is a project that “aims to encourage and support local initiatives that will build and enrich our community through social, cultural, environmental, health, housing, educational and business enterprises.” 

“After talking to the director of the project, Laura, I asked if they needed anything else, and it turned out that all of the domestic shelters in the Bronx were in need of clothes and stuff that you wouldn’t think people right around us might need, so I decided to expand the drive to not only school supplies, but clothes and shoes as well,” said Austin. 

Running the drive through her home, Austin ended up collecting around 70 bags of school supplies, clothes, shoes and other items. The project was conducted by Austin, with the help of her mother, as Austin worked on the drive throughout her summer.

The effort concluded in early August when the bags went to the shelters. 

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About the Contributor
Laura Shelton, Senior Editor
Laura is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a serious soccer player and competes for both the school  and club teams. In her free time she likes to read, paint and bake.

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