Walpole High School’s International Relations (IR) classes, taught by Jamie O’Leary, ran a clothing drive—started by senior Zana Albadawi—for Syrian refugees from March 21 to April 1. The IR students placed boxes in the main lobby for anyone to donate clothes or other basic goods such as bags; blankets and bedding; hygiene items and medical supplies.
“The IR classes organized the drive through NuDay, Syria as a part of a class project concluding a unit of global immigration,” O’Leary said.
The students in IR were also assigned a project to create more awareness about drive as well as the circumstances of people fleeing from Syria, Afghanistan and Africa. They were given the option to create an ad for more recognition of the clothing drive, make flyers or hold an educational event aiming to inform others about the status of the Syrian refugees.
As part of the assignment, one group—consisting of seniors Emily Ball, Rachel Cerullo, Brynne Bergen and Sami Rodia—chose to speak at International Family Night at Fisher Elementary School on March 20. They spoke of the problems that refugees suffer from when trying to seek a better life in a different country in hopes of shining more light on the issues refugees face and offering more help.
“Although this clothing drive was somewhat small, relative to the massive need for clothing and resources for refugees around the world, I think we made an impact here at Walpole High School and in the community,” senior IR student Libby Foley said. “Hopefully this drive helped students see that there is a real issue, and every little bit helps.”
During the IR class periods, the students spent time sorting the donated items into different categories, such as clothes. The items were then put into bags ready to be sent. In total, the students have put together 100 bags and boxes of clothing.
“The staff at Walpole High has been so generous with what they’ve been willing to contribute. I am super proud of my class and their ability to connect to a larger community,” O’Leary said.