Student begins community project for MCNC

PLYMOUTH — Anya Hettich, an eighth grader at Lincoln Jr. High School, recently conducted a community service project at the school that she hopes will continue for the next several years. After attending a sports leadership camp last summer, Hettich was on the hunt to find a volunteer project. She settled on the Marshall County Neighborhood Center as a recipient after speaking with MCNC director Sara Hill about the Center’s need for clothes — especially of the trendy, teen variety.
“I know that people need clothes, so I went with the Neighborhood Center,” explained Hettich. “I emailed Sara to ask what she needed.”
Hettich started “Free Fashion for All” at Lincoln Jr. High, enticing students to donate clothes to her drive by offering a $50 Visa gift card raffle. For every item of clothing or shoe that the students donated, they received one ticket — one chance to win the gift card. During the weeks prior to collecting the clothes, Hettich advertised the event through the school’s broadcasting department, by making posters, and by talking with her friends.
“One night after a soccer game I went to my friend’s house, and we made huge posters,” said Hettich. “I had a lot of help.”
She collected clothes at the school May 16-18, and said people brought in “loads” of items. She estimates the total amount of clothing items she collected at more than 500. Then, Hettich and her friends sorted all the clothes and divided them by type before bringing them to the Neighborhood Center.
“Anya’s project is a perfect example of how young people can become inspired to help others, then investigate and implement a successful community project,” said Hill. “Although we get many clothing donations, we are often lacking in ‘cool’ or trendy teen clothing. Anya took her idea straight to her fellow students, making it easy for them to give.”
Hettich plans to continue doing clothing drives for the Center in the future.
“I plan on doing it twice every school year for the rest of high school and maybe (longer),” said Hettich.
She thinks that the best times to do the drives will be in spring, when people are organizing and downsizing their clothing collections anyway, and right before the Christmas season.
Hill said that other teens interested in helping the Neighborhood Center can do food drives, personal products drives, or can schedule a volunteer day at the Center.
“These are valuable activities that will have a positive impact on families in need — and it looks great on a resume!” said Hill.
For more information on volunteering for the Center, or with questions, call 574-936-3388.