Over the last two weeks, children and families from Rutherford Elementary School have been sorting through their homes and involving their friends and neighbours to collect their goal of 550 lbs. of gently used clothing.  Engaging in friendly classroom competitions, kids and staff alike had a ton of fun while supporting a great cause, providing a valuable way for families to recycle their previously loved clothing, and an amazing learning opportunity for students in the importance of being responsible members of the community.

IMG_2964This morning all of the children gathered in the school’s gymnasium to see the grand unveiling of the bags they had worked so hard to collect. The curtain lifted, and everyone gasped as bags and bags of clothing on the stage were revealed. And when Mike Morrison, principal of Rutherford, announced the number – almost 200 bags – the children cheered and patted each other on the back.

Kelly Micetich, president and chair of BGCBigs’ Board of Directors, took a few moments to congratulate the kids. “You are so important to us,” she said.  “Without you guys and all the hard work you put in we wouldn’t be able to do all of the kids programming that we do, we wouldn’t be able to serve 24,000 meals a year. That’s a lot of food and you guys helped make it possible. So thank you so much.”

IMG_0072The kids were also excited to help load the bags in to the truck for delivery. They formed an assembly line from the stage to the truck and bounced and passed the bags along to the sound of upbeat music and lots of laughter.

“I think this pilot fundraiser speaks to the incredible impact that we can have when we work hand in hand,” Mike said. “What we collected works out to about one-point-something bags per child. If everyone in our school division pulled together we could have around 96,000 bags of clothing to donate.”

“It’s what I like to call a win-win-win-win,” Mike continued. “It’s a win for us because our school gets some of the profit and gets our kids thinking about helping out for a good cause. It’s a win for BGCBigs because they get a portion of the money to help run their programs. It’s a win for the environment because we are recycling our used clothing instead of throwing it in the landfill. And it’s a win for the parents because we helped them with their spring cleaning.”

IMG_2966Through Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters existing recycling business, the clothing collected will be sold to vendors who then supply to retail outlets for affordable re-sale. “This is an important fundraising activity for us and we are encouraged by this pilot project and look forward to other schools and community groups becoming involved,” said Liz O’Neil, executive director of BGCBigs. “Way to go Rutherford School!”

Click here to learn more about the BGCBigs clothing donations program.  

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