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RHS students collect 651 pairs of jeans through annual fundraiser Submitted: 01/21/2020
Rhinelander - This Friday, Rhinelander High School students will make dinner and deliver clothing donations to a local homeless shelter. When you think of jeans, you may not associate them with bringing the community together. But, the 651 pairs of denim pants are teaching local high school students what it means to give back.

FBLA/DECA Chapter President Kendra Durkee says the Jeans for Teens fundraiser held by Rhinelander High School teaches students to help people they may not have even met before.

"I think it's important because we get to reach out to the homeless shelter and really get to collaborate with them," said Durkee. "We also get to reach out to the local businesses to create a relationship with them."

This is the sixth year the Future Business Leaders of America club has hosted this event through Rhinelander High School.

Durkee says they have less donations this year due to the school district removing the incentive of free admission to RHS sporting events.

"That's how we built our numbers in the past. If you brought a pair of jeans to a game in the past, you would get in for free," said Durkee. "Now since the students get in for free, it kind of decreased our number."

VP of Public Relations Ashleigh Hull did her best to make sure they still had as many donations as possible.

"We posted cutout jeans on their lockers, and we put up posters around the school, we also put it on our social media," said Hull.

NATH executive director Tammy Modic says the Frederick Place distributes the jeans to other organizations across the Northwoods.  

"Whether it be the koinonia treatment center to warm for winter, we've offered them to the tri-county domestic abuse shelters," said Modic. "We're kind of the hub that collects them and then tries to share them whenever possible."

Durkee says this experience has taught her the importance of having a hands-on approach to helping those in need in the community.

"It not only helps the community, but it helps the residents at Frederick place," said Durkee. "It helps right here in our hometown which is a really great experience and it really means a lot to me cause we're not just helping nationally, but we're helping locally too."

The FBLA/DECA club was able to collect hundreds of jeans over just the last few weeks. They had donation boxes at local businesses like Bath and Body Creations and the YMCA.

Written By: Maya Reese

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