Upon being asked to share a story of the Spartan Closet with us, VISTA member Jason Parker shared a narrative of one shirt's journey...
Here is a story about a shirt. Now, this is not just any shirt; this is a special shirt. This particular shirt was given to a child just before their 6th-grade year started. All through the year, this student wore that shirt while learning at school, playing with friends, and doing all those things young people do. The shirt was worn all through the fall, winter, and spring. This student loved their shirt, and the shirt loved being worn by the student. As the end of the school year came around, the shirt began to get tighter and tighter on the student. Soon, both realized the inevitable: the student was growing, but the shirt was not. This meant that the shirt could no longer be worn by the student, and this made both parties very sad.
Throughout the summer, the shirt sat in the student's closet getting pushed back further and further. Slowly, the student began to forget about the shirt. One day, the student's mom decided it was time to go shopping for new clothes for school! After a wonderful day out trying on clothes at all the stores in town, the mother and student arrived back at home. As the student began clearing out his closet to make room for the new clothes, he grabbed his old favorite shirt. All the memories that were made when wearing this shirt flooded back. The student was happy, as was the shirt. While contemplating whether or not to try it on, just in case a miracle happened, the student's mother walked into the room. "Put that old, dingy shirt with the rest of your old clothes so we can get rid of it!" exclaimed the mother. "No use in keeping something that doesn't fit anymore," she said. This statement made the student and shirt sad again. "How could I get rid of you?" thought the student. "You're not even that dirty or old!" The student continued to stare at the shirt, almost expecting a response. When the mother turned away, the student quickly shoved the shirt back into their closet.
The beginning of the school year had finally started. The student was at a brand-new school: South Cache Middle School. He was very excited about all the possibilities that awaited him this year. A few weeks into the school year, someone who called themselves a "VISTA" was telling students that if they had any old clothes, they could donate them to the "Spartan Closet." "The Spartan Closet is just like a thrift store, but the clothes are free for students who are in need," said the VISTA. This same student didn't need any new clothes, his mom and dad were able to buy him new ones every year. "Hey, wait a minute," the student thought, "I saw another student sitting next to me who was wearing an ancient shirt that had holes everywhere! I could donate my old shirt I loved so much and maybe my classmate will get it!" Once the student arrived home, he grabbed the old shirt and shoved it in his backpack. At school the next day, the student gave his old shirt to the VISTA so it could be put in the Spartan Closet. "Thank you so much for your donation. I know a student who could use this shirt," said the VISTA.
The next day, the student walked into his class and sat down. There was the student they saw a few days earlier, but now, he was wearing the shirt! The student smiled, for the shirt looked good on its new owner, and they were happy about helping out a peer. The shirt was happy because it had found a new home. The new owner was happy because he had a shirt without holes and could now concentrate on learning.
Donations to the Spartan Closet are always being accepted. If you would like to donate to South Cache's Spartan Closet, please contact Jason Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Abby Slade (email@example.com) to arrange pick up/drop off.