Poolville Junior High School started a Comfort Closet to provide hygiene items for students who need them.
The closet is stocked with shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, feminine products and other items, Poolville Junior High Counselor Stacy Dial said.
“In all schools, there are those kids who are in need, and I wanted to be able to provide a way for them to take care of their personal hygiene without being embarrassed or without it being a big deal,” Dial said. “There’s times when everybody needs a hand-up, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Though Poolville Junior High has some economically disadvantaged students, students may have other reasons for needing items from the Comfort Closet, Dial said.
“Sometimes kids are just in need of those things because they’re too embarrassed to ask their parents,” Dial said. “We have girls who need feminine products who live with their dads. Sometimes there’s just a need for kids to have access to those things because they’re either embarrassed to ask for them or they don’t have the means to provide for them themselves. I wanted to provide a place for kids to go for whatever reason that they felt like they were in need, to be able to pick up items that they could use without being embarrassed or having to necessarily ask for or for anybody to really know that they were in that kind of financial need.”
Dial also said the closet offers deodorant, which could be used by students after their athletic practices or classes.
Students can access the closet by telling a teacher, Dial or School Secretary Tammie Braswell about their need, Dial said.
To her knowledge, such a closet hasn’t existed at the junior high before, Dial said.
The closet was started about two weeks ago and is located in a faculty lounge closet, Poolville Junior High Principal Jamie Dunnam said. The community, including Agnes Baptist Church, reached out to donate to the closet.
“My school secretary saw another school doing it and she just said, ‘Hey, we might want to consider this,’ and people just automatically started responding,” Dunnam said.
Dial said people who want to donate to the Comfort Closet can do so at the school’s office and can call the school for more information at 817-594-4539.