A third grade class rallied together to donate hundreds of items of clothing to children in need.

“In my 18 years of teaching, I realized there’s more to teach students than reading and math,” said Beth Morgan, a teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Vanderbilt.

Every year, Morgan has her students take part in a project focused on giving back. Past classes have gathered donations for organizations like Operation Shoe Box, American Red Cross and Toys for Tots; they also collected to help tornado victims, and sent Halloween cards to children at St. Jude’s Hospital.

This year, Morgan chose The Children’s Closet at St. Mary Church in Uniontown.

The Children’s Closet will officially open in early December as a place where those in need can get free clothing for children in sizes from newborn to 5T.

“It’s very important to teach them how to help others in need and give back to our community,” Morgan said.

And the generosity of her class did not disappoint.

“I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I received from the families, the community. I even had students bring in change from piggy banks from chores,” she said.

In total, the class donated over 300 items of clothing for boys and girls, and with the money donated, Morgan was able to buy additional clothes for The Children’s Closet.

“I thought, ‘Wow, I’m teaching them something outside of a text book’,” she said. “It’s very heartwarming.”

Student Saide Perry donated $11 from both chores and collecting change around the house. She said she found a lot of change in her dad’s car.

“It makes me feel good because I know I’m going to help give young kids clothes,” Perry said.

Student Grayson Smolenski said having the opportunity to donate made him feel good, too.

“I learned to appreciate what I got because there’s so many children in need,” he said.

“Because of donating, we are giving children some clothes to wear,” said student Sophie Martin. “It made me really happy.”

The students all agreed they’d like to donate again.

“This is just something I hope I can instill in them at a young age on how to be a good citizen and help others,” Morgan said.

The entire class and their parents made an evening trip to The Children’s Closet to present their donations. Morgan said she wanted the students to see where the clothing was going, believing it would reinforce her monthly class motto of kids helping kids.

The lesson worked.

“After Beth came in with those children, oh my gosh, those kids were so excited,” said Bobbi Skovera, the president of the Ladies of Charity, which organizes The Children’s Closet. “The kids were bouncing in the air with the gratification from they got from giving.”

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