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'Bring the community together:' Central students collect more than 1,000 coats for 3-day family thrift shop
Forsyth Central High School
Forsyth Central High School began its three-day thrifting extravaganza Monday in the school’s media center to give students and their families the chance to stop by and grab a free winter coat ahead of the holidays. - photo by Sabrina Kerns

Forsyth Central High School began its three-day thrifting extravaganza Monday in the school’s media center to give students and their families the chance to stop by and grab a free winter coat ahead of the holidays.

“We just want to make sure everybody is warm this winter,” said Principal Dr. Josh Lowe.

The school’s Wellness Center and DECA students partnered to plan the event, bringing together both the Forsyth Central and Forsyth County communities to support the cause.

With the students completing all the marketing for the coat drive, the school was able to collect around 1,100 coats for families in need.

“I’m amazed at how our community just showed up,” said Karen Cole, director of The Wellness Center.

Others in the community volunteered to help during the event. Parents brought in hangers and racks while students volunteered to organize the coats and stay in the media center to help families pick out what they wanted.

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Forsyth Central High School
Forsyth Central High School began its three-day thrifting extravaganza Monday in the school’s media center to give students and their families the chance to stop by and grab a free winter coat ahead of the holidays. - photo by Sabrina Kerns


Through this thrift shop setup, Cole said students could come in and get a coat without the stigma behind having to ask someone for help.

Dylan Robinson, a student at Forsyth Central, said it is also just a fun event that students can take advantage of whether they need help or simply want to get their sibling or parent a gift for the holidays.

“We should do this every year,” Robinson said.

Cole said the wellness center will continue with community events like these from now on. She described the thrift extravaganza as a “kicking off” event as Forsyth Central becomes a community wellness school. This means that the school will continue to work to bring outside resources onto its campus to make them more easily accessible for students and their families.

To do that, Cole said they plan to partner with organizations like The Place of Forsyth, which opened a school store and food pantry at East Forsyth High School earlier this year.

Aside from the coat drive, Forsyth Central also recently began its Helping Hands initiative to help distribute unopened, excess food from the cafeteria back to students and families who may need it.

Cole said these programs are meant “to build community and bring the community together,” while lending a helping hand.

“I’m excited,” she said. “Very excited.”

Forsyth Central High School
Forsyth Central students did all the marketing for the coat drive. The school collected around 1,100 coats for families in need. -courtesy Forsyth Central High School