Giving Students in Need What They Need

The Giving Closet Provides Necessities for Students of Brevard High


by Katelyn McCarson, photos by Nicholas Mihalas

As a child, I was never worried about where my clothes came from. I never worried that dinner might not be on the table that night. I never wondered if I’d be able to brush my teeth in the mornings.

If I grew out of my winter jacket or wore too many holes in my socks, they’d be promptly replaced. When I came inside from a busy day at school, I never worried about a grumbling tummy or an empty plate.

Dinner appeared on the table at night, gloves were put on cold little hands, and teeth were brushed every day without concern.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that many students face a much different reality.

In this reality, food, clothing, and toiletries can be hard to come by. New shirts, a filling dinner, or decent conditioner can be considered luxuries to some.

According to the Transylvania Public Health Assessment of 2015, 105 homeless residents were counted in a point survey, 36 of which were children.

Not only that, but more than 58% of children enrolled in Transylvania County Schools qualify for free or reduced lunch programs, while 29% of children battle food insecurity, 21% of which do not qualify for federal nutrition programs.

The Giving Closet was created to combat these circumstances and aid students in living the healthy, fulfilling lifestyle they deserve.

The brainchild of Brevard High School guidance secretary, Debbie Siniard, and former principal, Jennifer Anderson, The Giving Closet was created with the vision of a place where students can enter and “shop” for whatever they need in a comfortable, respectable, inclusive environment.

“There’s a lot of need for clothes and food and household items as far as shower items in the school,” said Giving Closet intern and BHS Senior, Ashton McCall. “The Giving Closet is just a place where people donate clothes, whether it’s pants, shoes, shirts, tank tops, jackets… anything that’s school appropriate, of course, for kids who have either violated the dress code and need something to wear or just kids in general who have struggles at home and need clothes, too.”

Furnished with a locker built and contributed by students and teachers of BHS, The Giving Closet is filled with items from snacks to prom dresses, all made possible by contributions and donations from members of the community.

Any donations are accepted, and every little bit counts. Whether it’s one item or several, any gently used, dress code appropriate clothing may be brought to the guidance office to contribute to the cause.

Along with clothing, The Giving Closet also provides snack food and drinks, toiletries, backpacks, and special occasion outfits for formal events such as Prom.

If you’re interested in accessing or contributing to The Giving Closet, Ms. Debbie or counselors Hallie Moore and Courtney Owen can be reached by telephone numbers or emails given below.

Ms. Debbie: (828) 885-7328,

Mrs. Hallie Moore: (828) 885-7331,

Mrs. Courtney Owen: (828) 885-7328,

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