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Friendly competition between schools helps local charities

Greenwood and Tarentorus Public Schools have collected hundreds of pounds of clothing for the Kidney Foundation

A little bit of competitive spirit is going a long way for several local charities with the help from elementary students at Greenwood and Tarentorus Public Schools.

Bob Garson, a supply teacher at Greenwood, has organized a contactless clothing drive at both schools to help support the Kidney Foundation, as well as their own personal charities.

"The Kidney Foundation has really been hurting over the last few years because people don't want to take a chance in the pandemic," he says. So, they've come up with a safe way with contactless drop-off."

While students are enjoying the friendly and fun competition to see who can collect more items of clothing, there's a much bigger goal in mind.

Tarentorus is raising money for Tracy's Dream, a charity that helps cancer patients with the high cost of parking at Sault Area Hospital.

Meanwhile, Greenwood is raising money to help Teena Coventry, a teacher at the school who is waiting for a kidney transplant in London.

The Kidney Foundation has pledged to donate 15 cents for every pound of clothing collected through the schools' efforts towards these charities.

As of Thursday, Greenwood collected 1064 pounds of clothing, while Tarentorus collected 634 pounds.

Donation bins are located in front of their schools. They are accepting clothing, draperies, bedding, linens, sleeping bags, fabric, craft supplies, belts, shoes, purses, clothes hangers, and boots until Tuesday May 24.

Garson started the clothing collection at Greenwood two years prior to COVID before coming up with the idea make a friendly competition out of it this year. He wants to see more schools get involved and is hopeful the fundraiser will grow every year.

"When we did it at Greenwood, we had class competitions," he said. "The friendly competition really gets the kids involved. We're looking forward to getting it going again. The students get so much out of it."

Grandview Public School will also begin their own clothing drive from May 26 to June 3, with money raised through the effort going towards helping a student who just got back from cancer treatments.