Summit Academy School – Lorain intern Jennifer Firment, a senior at Youngstown State University, assembles bags with winter clothing for community members in need. The packaged winter garb will be posted on a fence alongside the school, located at 346 Illinois Ave. in Lorain. The Keep Cozy Lorain project begins tomorrow, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m.

Bags filled with hats, gloves and scarves grace a chain link fence that lines the E. Street sidewalk alongside Summit Academy School – Lorain. The Keep Cozy Lorain project is a community outreach effort to provide warm clothing to local residents in need.

In all, about 150 Ziploc bags filled with hats, gloves and scarves are posted for the taking by anyone struggling through winter days. It is a simple gesture of goodwill to neighbors without basic winter gear.

“We’re not trying to solicit, push anything or have an agenda. It’s just about helping our students and neighbors in our immediate community who are going without,” says Principal Mike Williston, expressing the heavy heart he feels as he witnesses homeless citizens daily on his trek to school.

School Community Outreach Coordinator Angela Davis has been working on the event with Principal Williston and Youngstown State University Senior Jennifer Firment, who is completing an internship at the school. They  packaged and displayed the winter garb, which was purchased and donated by school staff members.

Firment, a public health major at YSU, says the project is an eye-opening and thoughtful one that challenges citizens to look at their neighbors from an empathetic perspective, imploring them to explore and meet others’ needs.

Firment, who grew up in nearby Amherst, says she embraces the opportunity to give back to her local community in a meaningful way.

“This is important for our community,” Firment says. “It’s extremely cold and so many people here don’t have the resources to buy hats and gloves. It’s nice to give them a chance to stay warm.”

Community members are welcome to stop by to pick up a bag of clothing beginning Thursday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. The fence grab-and-go display is located on E. Street near the corner of Idaho Avenue in Lorain. Summit Academy School – Lorain, which serves students in grades 6 through 12, many with special education needs, is located at 346 Illinois Avenue. For more information, call 440-288-0448.