Youth for Refugees holds second Closet Cleanout for Kansas City International Academy

The club organized clothing in order to improve life for refugee students

+The+Youth+for+Refugees+club+gathered+to+sort+clothes+at+the+Kansas+City+International+Academy+on+Wednesday%2C+March+6.++Along+with+other+members+of+the+club%2C+seniors+Joe+McClain+and+Jordyn+Saunders+start+organizing+the+clothes+into+four+different+groups.+The+clothes+that+were+donated+will+go+to+children+in+the+school.%0A
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Youth for Refugees holds second Closet Cleanout for Kansas City International Academy

 The Youth for Refugees club gathered to sort clothes at the Kansas City International Academy on Wednesday, March 6.  Along with other members of the club, seniors Joe McClain and Jordyn Saunders start organizing the clothes into four different groups. The clothes that were donated will go to children in the school.

The Youth for Refugees club gathered to sort clothes at the Kansas City International Academy on Wednesday, March 6. Along with other members of the club, seniors Joe McClain and Jordyn Saunders start organizing the clothes into four different groups. The clothes that were donated will go to children in the school.

By Izzy James

The Youth for Refugees club gathered to sort clothes at the Kansas City International Academy on Wednesday, March 6. Along with other members of the club, seniors Joe McClain and Jordyn Saunders start organizing the clothes into four different groups. The clothes that were donated will go to children in the school.

By Izzy James

By Izzy James

The Youth for Refugees club gathered to sort clothes at the Kansas City International Academy on Wednesday, March 6. Along with other members of the club, seniors Joe McClain and Jordyn Saunders start organizing the clothes into four different groups. The clothes that were donated will go to children in the school.

Annika Lehan, JAG editor-in-chief

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Youth for Refugees volunteered at the Kansas City International Academy for their second Closet Cleanout on Wednesday, March 6. While there, club members organized previously donated clothing based on elementary school sizes, middle school sizes and gender.

By Izzy James
While sorting through the clothes, senior Youth for Refugees co-president Marah Shulda folds and organizes donations.

According to club president senior Ally Nguyen, Youth for Refugees organized the clothing in order to make it easier for the children to sort through later.

“What we did was set up different racks for them and hung up different shirts and folded pants into bins,” Nguyen said. “Whenever they have their event where the kids can come and get their clothing, it’s then easy for them to just pick out whatever they want.”

Made up of many diverse cultures, The Kansas City International Academy’s student population consists of three-fourths refugees, according to KCIA superintendent Dr. Steve Fleming. As a result, senior Annie Myers believed participating in events like the Closet Cleanout greatly impacted their community.

“It makes it easier for [the students] to get what they need for them to go throughout their childhood in an easier manner because a large population of the school is refugee families and immigrant families,” Myers said. “They’re already going through a lot with that process, and it’s just nice to be able to help in that way.”

In order to gather more volunteers, Youth for Refugees expanded the opportunity to other organizations, according to Nguyen.

“Beforehand, we sent out a little sign up to say if you were coming or not, and we made it a NHS group event,” Nguyen said. “We basically just advertised that it was good volunteer hours, and it can [also] count for Spanish National Honors Society hours because all the kids are from different backgrounds.”

While the Cleanout Closet may have been good volunteer hours, Myers volunteered partly because of the KCIA children.

By Izzy James
Diving into bins of donated clothes, senior Annie Myers tries to decide what group the shirt belongs in.

“I love going to the school and seeing all of the kids because they’re all so cute,” Myers said. “Just the atmosphere of the school reminds me why I like being in [Youth

for Refugees] because it’s actually helping people in our community who need the help.”

Although the event went well, coordinating the date proved to be difficult, according to Nguyen.

“We wanted to get our club to do more [activities] because we’ve been trying to do it for this entire last month, but there’s just been way too many snow days,” Nguyen said. “The school is 40 minutes away, so the planning was a little rough, but [volunteer coordinator Nikki Snyder] is always willing to work with us and our schedules.”

Overall, Myers enjoyed volunteering and found the Closet Cleanout to be a positive experience.

“It feels really good to help out because it’s not a lot of effort on my part,” Myers said. “It’s just so easy to help everyone.”

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