LAKELAND, Fla. — High schoolers have to juggle a social life, studying for exams and getting through classes. What they shouldn't have to worry about is how they're going to afford clothes or shoes or how to clean them.
That's why "Titan Apparel", the school's clothing closet, is offering everything for free.
Tenoroc High School's principal, Jason Looney, says anywhere from 95 to 98 percent of students suffer some kind of financial hardship. That's why a program like this is so important, so his students can focus on learning.
The clothing closet was created years ago, but quickly became inundated with clothes that were out of style and too worn out for young teens to feel confident in.
"It does such wonderful things for a student's confidence. They feel great, they don't have to worry about their clothes being dirty and they can just focus on school," said Fatmeh Hafer, a literacy coach at Tenoroc, and a leader in creating the revamped closet.
The new and improved clothing closet offers brand new, trendy clothing for boys and girls, as well as new shoes, hygiene items like toothpaste, soap and hairbrushes as well as a washing machine and dryer, so students can bring their clothes back to be washed.
"It broke my heart. I brought a girl last week and when I brought her in, she was in awe. I asked her what size she wore and she had no idea. She said she'd never been shopping before so she didn't know her size," Hafer said.
For many students, it could be the first time they get brand new clothes with the tags still on.
Tenoroc High School received a donation from the Junior League of Greater Lakeland and Southern Home Builders to fund the closet for the first couple of years.
The school will accept donations from the community of brand new or very gently used, trendy items. Anyone interested in helping can contact Fatmeh Hafer at email@example.com.
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