Wes-Del student hosts ‘Fresh Threads’ jeans drive for students in need
MUNCIE, Ind. – While volunteering at Hearts and hands united A few years ago, at the Coats Against the Cold event, Averie Jamison saw fellow volunteer Al Holdren donate his own coat to a man in need when he was no longer his size.
The kind gesture immediately inspired high school student Wes-Del, and she began to think about ways to help the community.
Hearts and Hands United hosted an annual coat drive and Tools for School event, which provides students with a backpack full of supplies and a pair of shoes each summer. Jamison wanted to do even more, thinking of collecting a range of items, from T-shirts to jeans.
“I was like, ‘Oh, I want to do something and start my own thing, and change people’s lives to help them,” Jamison said.
To help shape her ideas, she reached out to Holdren, co-founder of Secret Families Christmas Charity, and the two started meeting almost every week. With Jamison’s heart in the right place, Holdren suggested he start small, focusing on a collectible.
In 2019, she started her own jeans collection, “Fresh Threads”, collecting new and lightly worn jeans for grades K-12. In the campaign’s first year, Jamison was able to collect around 250 pairs of jeans, leading them to the Tools for School event that summer.
The students already knew they were going to get their school supplies and shoes, but when they reached Jamison’s table full of jeans, she remembered their eyes lighting up.
“They were excited and so surprised like, ‘Oh my God, we didn’t know we were going to have a pair of jeans too,’” Jamison said. “The girls were really excited to have them ripped, or like the Miss Me Jeans brand. They all thought it was pretty cool, because they’ve never had a pair like this before.”
Now entering his final year at Wes-Del, Jamison is gearing up for his second jeans campaign. Due to COVID-19, she was unable to recover any items last summer.
Due to the year-long hiatus, it was difficult to gain momentum this time around, and Jamison asked his friends and classmates for some jeans they didn’t need. To help, students at Wes-Del participated in School Hat Day, where they could bring a pair of jeans or $ 1 to wear a hat to school.
“I think it’s going to be okay, but hopefully the result will be bigger than before,” said Jamison.
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While Jamison raised over 200 pairs in 2019, she hopes to bring 500 pairs to this year’s event. At this point, Jamison is looking for any size, color, and style of jeans. However, she does need sizes for young children, Kindergarten to Grade 5, who quickly sold out during the previous Tools for School event.
A student herself, Jamison said Fresh Threads had been a positive experience for her and sometimes for her classmates.
“In fact, some kids from high school came over to buy a pair of jeans and they were happy to see me. It was really cool helping them out,” Jamison said. “I have several friends who contact me. They want to help with the setup and help donate the jeans, and they want to be a part of it with me, which I think is really cool.”
Even though Jamison won’t stay in Indiana after graduation, she said she’ll always come home to direct Fresh Threads. In the future, she hopes to see him grow up and offer a variety of items to students, be it jeans, shoes or shirts.
She even considered organizing walks to Delaware County schools, where students could donate spirits clothes and other items to their classmates who couldn’t afford them.
“I’ve been lucky my whole life. I mean, I wanted to buy the new jeans for school and go to school with a new outfit, and most kids don’t,” said Jamison. “Even if it’s just a little thing, like little kids think it’s so cool for teens to help them pick out a pair of jeans. Just seeing the smile on people’s faces and what point they’re thankful. Even a pair of jeans can make someone’s day so much better. “
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With Tools for School tentatively scheduled for early August at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, Jamison will be collecting jeans until July 30. From there, she’ll clean, bag, and organize the event.
The Jamison family will be holding a large collection from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 16 in the parking lot of the First Church of the Nazarene, 3802 W. Bethel Ave. In case of rain, the event will take place in the church gymnasium.
To donate jeans or make a monetary donation other than during the July 16 event, contact Millissa Jamison at 765-748-8896 or Averie Jamison via Facebook at facebook.com/averie.jamison.
Charlotte Stefanski is a reporter for The Star Press. Contact her at 765-283-5543, [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @CharStefanski.