Comfort closet for students created at River View High School

| December 19, 2019

Janell Davis is mentoring Morgan Woolard on her senior project. With the help of donations from others, Woolard created a comfort closet located in the library at River View High School. Josie Sellers | Beacon

WARSAW – River View High School student Morgan Woolard is getting a jump start on her senior project.

Woolard, who is a junior, started the comfort closet. The closet is located inside the high school library and is stocked with items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, deodorant, body wash, soap, razors, shaving cream, tissues, Q-tips, combs, and feminine products. The items are available to all students and are free of charge.

“Mrs. Hemming (senior project coordinator) and Mrs. Davis (project mentor) thought I should get it started this year to get it kicked off and make sure I had time to get it going,” Woolard said. “Mrs. Davis came to my mom over fair and said she had talked to Mrs. Hemming about this. She asked my mom if she thought it was something I’d want to do and when she told me I said of course. I thought it would be neat to do.”

They chose the library as the location of the closet for several reasons.

“We wanted it to be in a place that was centrally located and open pretty much all the time,” Davis said. “There also is an adult in there (the library) so it’s a little supervised, but still private.”

She saw the idea for a comfort closet on Facebook and knew Woolard would be a good person to help make it happen.

“Her mom and I are best friends so I’ve known Morgan her whole life,” Davis said. “She is a caring and compassionate person who would want to help other people and take the opportunity to make a positive change for students.”

Woolard is grateful for donations, especially from her family and teachers, which helped get the closet started. However, more donations are needed and the community is invited to help.

The Comfort Closet Donation War will be held during the varsity boys’ basketball Holiday Classic. The Black Bears will take on Newcomerstown at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27 and Ridgewood at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28. Collection bins will be set out at each game and fans who bring in the most items will earn bragging rights. What is collected during the games will be split with Ridgewood as they have a similar project at their school.

“Anything will be appreciated, but we are especially in need of girls’ shampoo, shampoo in general and body wash,” Woolard said. “They can be sample size or full size.”

Anyone who cannot attend the games can call the River View High School office and arrangements can be made to collect donations. Monetary donations also are welcomed.

Woolard’s project is one of 70 being done. Eleven community mentors and 26 River View district mentors are helping with each of those.

“I enjoy seeing how the projects affect the kids’ outlook or perspective on life, their fellow students or the community,” Davis said. “They make an impact even if they think what they are doing is small.”

This is the fourth year for the senior projects, which must somehow improve the school, the community or the student in some way. Students must put in at least 40 hours of work, present their project to a panel and display it at the senior gallery.

“This (the comfort closet) is something different for me,” Woolard said. “I like the fact that I can help kids and that it’s something everybody can help with not just me.”

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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