School opens free ‘boutique’ to help students in need
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new boutique in a Nashville high school announced its plans to open in May with the unique twist of all merchandise being free.
McGavock High School’s Raider Retail store is where students can get hygiene products and clothes. The store was made in partnership with TenThirtyFive, a high-end thrift store that lets people in need shop for free.
“I didn’t expect this to be so nice. I thought they were just going to throw some clothes in a bag and just hand it out to kids, but the fact that it actually looks like a store is cool,” said McGavock High School student Darienne Lawrence.
“We’ve had many students walk by today, and they’ve been checking out the denim bar behind us,” Dr. Asa Bradley said. Unfortunately, many of her students aren’t able to go shopping which can interfere with their education.
Dr. Bradley says some girls stay home from school when they don’t have certain hygiene products on hand. In addition, McGavock is a Title I high school, which means it has an increased number of students from low-income families.
“We have a population of students that are technically homeless, and so they come in periodically for things like socks and undergarments, toiletries, and other necessities, and we are hoping that this will be a safe place in the school that they can come and get these and feel like they are shopping,” Dr. Bradley explained.
McGavock High School’s secretary is the one who noticed a need for a clothing closet initially. She started collecting clothes to donate to students who needed them most. With the help of TenThirtyFive and volunteers, this vision is coming to life.
“We’ve got some incredible students that worked hard at painting it, and it has a boutique feel in here. It feels incredible,” said Angie Brantley, founder of TenThirtyFive.
Students who are helping set up the Raider Retail boutique say they are proud to help their peers.
“Kids can come in here and get the things they need without feeling pressured or embarrassed about it,” said student Ikran Diriye.
“I think that’s one of my passions, helping people. And I just think that it’s a great opportunity that we got to help other students. Of course, we being students,” explained Jaida Sinclaire.
They are hoping this catches on at other schools.
“This could be a pilot for many other schools in the Nashville area because, as Dr. Bradley shared, it’s necessary and it’s needed, so to have a place where they can pop in, get what they need, and feel dignified is something we’d love to see in other schools,” Brantley said.
The raider retail store is expected to open in May officially.
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