AWOD Pays it Forward with Coat Drive

AWOD club members collected two carloads of warm winter clothes and related items.

January 26, 2017

Huntington High School’s A World of Difference club members and advisors like to act decisively rather merely talking about it. The group subscribes to the “pay it forward” philosophy, which espouses the recipient of a good deed should repay it to others in need rather than to the original person.

These teenagers have a good handle on just how fortunate they are and how all of them have benefitted from the help others have sent their way. So the AWOD members wanted to perform some good deeds of their own. Once they identified a need, they wasted little time getting down to work.

It’s winter and it’s cold outside. Unfortunately, there are many folks right here in this community who lack warm clothes to wear on frigid days and night. The warm clothing drive took on a life of its own as AWOD members energetically pursued their mission.

Coats, sweaters, boots, gloves, scarves, pants, sweats and even thick socks were all collected. Even blankets, shawls and assorted dress shirts and suits were donated for use by those who need the items.

“The request was simple; an appeal for people to donate their gently used and never worn cold weather gear that they no longer had any use for,” said teacher Suzie Biagi, who serves as AWOD’s co-faculty advisor along with retired librarian Camille DeCanio. “The contributions came in all sizes, colors and styles.”

The goods filled two cars to capacity. The items were donated to local organizations for immediate distribution to those in desperate need.

This marks the third annual collection of warm winter clothes that AWOD has facilitated. The group focuses on anti-bias peer training and diversity appreciation and it also takes on community service related activities.

“Our motto is ‘the power of one can make a difference,’” Mrs. Biagi said. “This drive was embraced by an abundance of students and staff members alike. I am so proud of our young people and the awesome people I work with. They never cease to amaze me with their huge hearts.”

The drive is purposely timed for mid-winter. “So many of us are blessed to have an abundance of extra cozy outerwear, especially after the holiday exchanges so it’s a perfect time to purge our closets and organize,” Mrs. Biagi said. “Knowing that our neighbors are a little bit warmer warms our hearts, too.”

Huntington's AWOD club recently held a winter clothing drive.
Suzie Biagi
Huntington AWOD club co-faculty advisor Suzie Biagi.