Clothing drive fosters community building

Nellie Bhattarai and her family often donate to, and shop at, clothing drives for three reasons: environmental stewardship, financial concerns and community building.

And on Saturday morning, she and her two daughters, who attend Mount Nittany Elementary School, did just that.

For the second year, the State College Area School District teamed up with Goodwill to host a clothing drive at Mount Nittany Middle School.

“I think so much of our society has this, ‘I can do whatever’ attitude, and we lose the sustainability piece,” Bhattarai said. “This is a way to drive away from consumerism, and in a community like this we need to participate in opportunities like this. I mean, it’s still a little bit buying into consumerism, but on a much smaller scale.”

So the Bhattarais donated bags of clothes, and also filled up a couple more bags of donated items to take home.

The free clothing drive, which lasts through Sunday, was organized by faculty, staff, volunteers, students and community members served by Mount Nittany elementary and middle schools to benefit the community.

Mount Nittany Middle School teacher Robin Bastress, who also helped organize the event, said the two schools took collections of gently used clothes and other goods just after the holidays.

On Friday, a group of students from the middle school’s Lion Leaders team spent time after school organizing the donations.

“It’s a big team that gets all this done,” Bastress said.

Last year’s clothing drive produced about 1,376 pounds of clothes, which were then donated to Goodwill.

Bastress said she expects about the same this year.

“On Monday, there will be a truck to pick up the donations we weren’t able to give away,” she said.

And in return, Goodwill will provide the school administrators with a monetary donation for their help, which Bastress said will go into supporting the positive behavior program at the elementary and middle schools.

“We host assemblies and sometimes get speakers, so that helps fund the things we like to do with the program,” Bastress said.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

Free clothing drive

Where: Mount Nittany Middle School cafeteria

When: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday