Penticton teens seeking jeans for good cause

Penticton students Ashley Wall and Ali Walters are collecting gently used pants under the Teens for Jeans program to benefit underprivileged and homeless youth.  - Joe Fries/Western News
Penticton students Ashley Wall and Ali Walters are collecting gently used pants under the Teens for Jeans program to benefit underprivileged and homeless youth.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Western News

Gently used jeans can be given new life through a program organized by a group of local students collecting pants for under-privileged peers who likely number more than most people think.

Kids in the Leadership 8 class at McNicoll Park Middle School have joined in the Teens for Jeans drive, created by clothing company Aeropostale.

From now until Feb. 14, jeans will be collected at some schools, then packed up and sent to the Aeropostale store in Kelowna, from where they’ll be distributed to local groups that service underprivileged teens and homeless youth.

McNicoll Park students Ashley Wall and Ali Walters, local organizers for Teens for Jeans, came across the campaign while shopping online and decided to run with it as an assignment for their Leadership class.

So far, they’ve collected about 40 pairs of jeans and hope to eventually round up 500 with the help of peers at middle and high schools.

Wall hopes other community members will help spread the word about the campaign.

“Even if they can’t donate jeans, at least pass it on,” she said.

Walters was unable to quantify teens’ need for jeans here, but knows it exists.

“Look at how many people go to the Soupateria and for how many people it’s a struggle for them to come to school every day because they don’t want to be judged,” she said.

Joey Cyr, community services supervisor at the Salvation Army in Penticton, said families that received hampers from his organization at Christmas included 155 teenagers, but he suspects there are many more youth who would appreciate new-to-them clothing.

His own family struggled financially while he was in school, so he can relate to the kids Teens for Jeans is trying to help.

“I had one pair of pants, so I know how that feels to not have,” said Cyr.

He noted the Salvation Army’s thrift stores try to assist families in need by keeping prices low, but it’s hard to top a free clothing drive organized by kids.

“Youth helping youth: we love to see that spirit,” Cyr said.

McNicoll Park Middle School is the main drop-off spot for Teens for Jeans and is located at 1213 Debeck Rd.  For more information, call the school at 250-770-7683.



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