7th graders hang hats on lampposts to help keep community warm

7th graders hang hats on lampposts to help keep community warm

A group of 7th graders from the small Green County community of Juda hung hats, gloves and scarves around downtown Monroe for those in need of warmth

The Juda Class of 2021 decided to take on the project to make a difference for people unable to afford basic necessities.

“You want people to stay warm and not get cold,” 7th grader Toby Hosch said. “If they’re outside basically all day working, you want them to get a hat and maybe some gloves, all the winter protective gear, so they don’t get frostbite or anything.”

Each article of winter clothing hung up carries with it a message that says: “If you are cold, I am yours. From the kindness of the Juda Class of 2021.”

“When I hung up those hats, it was like, the joy inside me of giving to other people was like happiness,” Hosch said. “I felt really good giving it to other people.”

Juda teacher and Class of 2021 adviser Jackie Klar helped students organize the donations after seeing the idea on Facebook.

“I just kind of came in and said, ‘Hey, you guys, I saw this. This is really cool!'” Klar said. “They were like ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ and the next thing I knew, just a couple days later there was a garbage bag full of hats that came in.”

Klar said giving hats, gloves and scarves fills a particular need for the area’s residents.

“We have a high-poverty working poor here,” Klar said. “I said, ‘I think this is an idea that people would appreciate.'”

Klar said this activity is part of ongoing character development she and other teachers in the district try to foster in students.

“We have a character trait for each of the nine months that we’re in school,” Klar said. “One of the character traits is caring, and this seemed like a good activity to tie into it.”

Klar said the reaction from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. The “Downtown Monroe Events and News” Facebook page shared a photo gallery of the hats, gloves and scarves, which garnered over 700 likes and 500 shares as of Thursday night.

Klar said she was surprised by the social media response.

“My Facebook page has never gotten that many likes and I know a lot of people,” Klar said. “They’re making a difference, and that’s really cool.”

Hosch said he hopes his classmates’ generosity serves as encouragement to others.

“I hope this shows a lot of people to give,” Hosch said.