A rainbow of hoodies in hues of grey, navy, orange, forest green, black, pink and purple are going to Summit Academy Secondary School – Youngstown students this week. The 101 early holiday gifts – sporting athletic names like Nike, Under Armour, Champion and Adidas – represent about $2,000 in donations from school staff and community members.
“It shows they actually care and appreciate the kids,” senior Corey Grove says of his school’s teachers and staff. “A lot of kids don’t have a lot of money so
giving them a hoodie is a really good thing. It means they want to help the kids out.”
Regardless of need, every Summit Academy Secondary School – Youngstown student will receive a new hoodie for the holidays. Corrie Rafferty, who serves as the regional director for the two Summit Academy Youngstown schools, describes the gift-giving gesture as one of humanity and unity.
“Our school community is definitely tight and will take care of each other,” Rafferty says.
Principal Ashley Martin loaded her truck with gift-wrapped hoodies and is delivering them this week to students unable to pick them up at the school. It’s a day in the life of a school community that Martin says, “functions like a family.”
Martin adds that she hopes to make holiday hoodie and Thanksgiving meal gift-giving yearly traditions for the school.
Thanks to overwhelming support from Youngstown residents and school staff members, Summit Academy Secondary School – Youngstown received more than $5,000 in donations this holiday season, enough to treat every school family to a Thanksgiving dinner and hoodies for every student. A surplus of donations from this year will go toward next year’s giving programs, Martin says.