Patriot Closet keeps students warm at Hill Field Elementary

Hill Field Elementary School is used to having students move in and out all year round. Especially since 90% of its student population come from families who are in the military.

“Here at Hill Field our student population is always changing,” said Olivia Jackson, Hill Field Elementary counselor. “We register students every week and they come at all different times of the year. A teacher here at Hill Field can expect at the end of the year to have one third to half of their original class.”

That being the case, many of the students may be unprepared for the cold winter weather because they have come from warmer climates such as Texas, California, and Florida. They may not own winter clothing or it still may be packed up and hasn’t arrived yet.

With this in mind, Hill Field Elementary came up with a way to help meet the needs of their students with the Patriot Clothing Closet. Through the past couple of months, administrators have organized clothing drives gathering coats, jackets, winter boots, shoes, socks, gloves, and knit hats to have in stock at the school and help these students keep warm.

The school was not alone in its efforts, as it was also supported by five other schools: Oak Hills, Windridge, Kays Creek, Heritage, and Buffalo Point elementaries. Each conducted clothing drives benefiting the Patriot Clothing Closet.

Hill Field Elementary Junior Hope Squad and Anchored 4 Life team leaders recently visited each of the schools to collect the items and have a short meet-and-greet with other leaders at the supporting schools.

The response to the new initiative was overwhelming. Boxes and boxes of clothing, shoes, and winter attire were loaded on to the bus headed back to Hill Field. The response even left a few administrators teary-eyed from the out-pouring of support from the students and surrounding communities.

“The bus was extremely packed. The first six rows all were full,” said Mason, a fifth-grade Hill Field Elementary student. “I was sitting on the second one (row) trying to stop stuff from falling. . . The fact that we got so much from just five schools makes me feel good because that means a lot of people are going to have stuff to wear.”