Clothing Drive for an Underserved Elementary School: Pacific North Region
Adams Elementary School is a school servicing grades Pre-K to 5 in Yakima, Washington. The percentage of Adams Elementary School students on free and reduced lunch assistance (97.2%) is significantly higher than the state average of 47.3%, an indicator of a high level of poverty.
Over the past few years, Sri Sathya Sai Centers in the states of Washington and Oregon have been assisting the students at Adams Elementary school with clothing and school supplies. Jim and Diann Cole, an elderly couple and Sai volunteers from the Yakima area, have served as liaisons with the school. As they become informed of the school’s needs, they communicate those promptly to the service coordinators of various Sai Centers. The service coordinators, in turn, collaborate and organize various drives for clothing and school supplies amongst the Sai communities. The supplies are delivered to Jim and Diann, who then deliver them to the school.
During the period November-December of 2021, there was a clothing drive organized by members of Sri Sathya Sai Centers in the Greater Seattle area. Those who donated used clothes, made sure that the clothes were still in good condition, washed and thoroughly pressed. Some of the Sai Center members purchased supplies online and had them shipped directly to Jim and Diann’s residence. The clothing supplies included socks, mittens, gloves, winter jackets, winter pants, warm hats, hoodies, long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts, winter/rain shoes and under garments.
As a teacher at the school explained, the clothing supplies come in handy to provide clean, proper clothes to needy students who come poorly dressed. Also, if students have an accident while at school and need spare clothes, then the school can attend to their needs.
Here are a few words from Diann Cole.
“This is the second time in about five years, I have had the privilege of collecting clothing for Adams School with a Sai Baba group. I was first contacted by a Sai Baba group to see if I would be interested in helping them. They picked Adams School because it is one of the poorest schools in Washington State. Most parents are immigrant workers.
The donations from the first Sai Baba group were amazing. My husband and I took them to the school, where they had a large cabinet to put the clothes in. The school put a picture of Sai Baba on the inside door and called it the Sai Baba clothing donations. We filled the cabinet. The school is very appreciative of all we have done. It is a pleasure for me to be of service for this worthwhile cause. Thank you for asking me to be a part of this wonderful opportunity”.