HANOVERTON -A jeans drive became a perfect fit as a community service project.
While shopping with her mom at the mall, United Local seventh- grade student Natalie Gamble noticed a charity drive to help the homeless. Clothing retailer Aeropostale was conducting "Teens for Jeans."
Between Jan. 22 and Feb. 10 the popular teen clothing outlet was holding a collection of gently-worn jeans to be given to the homeless including those harshly impacted by the earthquake in Haiti.
Shown with some of the jeans collected during a drive at United Local are, from left, Elle Smith, Emma Paparodis, Vincent Zehentbauer and Natalie Gamble. (Submitted photo)
As incentive, Aeropostale was giving a 20 percent discount on new pairs of jeans. Its goal was to collect 10,000 pairs of jeans.
A motivated Gamble decided to combine thoughtfulness with a need to perform community service as part of her 4-H Club responsibilities. She has been a club member for four years.
Enlisting the assistance of school guidance counselor Cathi Friend,
Gamble and her helpers were able - despite a late start and school being often closed due to weather -to collect 78 pairs of jeans of all sizes in just a few days. They were to be sent to Haiti.
"Natalie was kind of a point person," Friend said. "She saw that at the mall and later asked if she thought we could do it. She got the aid of the junior high student council. Natalie made posters and fliers that were sent home with the kids."
"I think that it's fantastic that others were willing to donate," said the 13-year-old daughter of Celeste Baronzzi and John Gamble. "I didn't think that anyone would pay that much attention. But it was surprising how much we got."
"Natalie did a wonderful job," Friend added. "This was a first. It's teens getting motivated and getting involved."
"It just really feels good helping others; not only your community but people hurt by a national disaster," Gamble said.