By Harry Smith
In November 2021, Tara Ossiani ran a community service project to gather donations for a winter clothing drive, to help students in the Greater Boston Area stay warm, and especially enhance their ability to travel to school during the winter months. This is a major issue because many students in Boston do not have adequate winter clothing, which can be incredibly harmful as temperatures can reach below 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the mornings. We sat down with Ossiani to learn more about her work and its impact.
Can you give a brief description of what you did?
I played an important role: planning, promoting, and coordinating for a winter clothing drive, for an organization in the Greater Boston Area named Catie's Closet. They focus on improving the lives of underprivileged students by providing them with essential items. Ms. Northey introduced me to this organization when I was in Year 11, and since then, I've become a devoted ambassador. Many students in the Greater Boston area required warm clothing, especially during their walk to school or while waiting at their bus stop during the winter months. With increased financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents have struggled to afford the necessary winter clothing for their children, making the drive very necessary. To raise awareness about the drive, I created an informative flyer which I distributed to students, staff, and parents, as well as posting them all around the school.
How did the drive go?
According to Catie's Closet, my drive was the most successful drive they've had in the Greater Boston Area! This was, of course, due to the sheer generosity of the BISB community, to enable such an accomplishment. The level of participation I received around the school was incredible — from students of all year groups kindly donating jumpers and boots they had outgrown, to some teachers going out of their way to purchase brand-new clothing. Seeing this play out truly warmed my heart. It was incredible that our community responded to such a pressing problem so robustly.
What would you like to see in the future in terms of student or parent/teacher-run community service projects?
In the future, I'd love to see BISB forming permanent collaborations with local organizations such as Catie's Closet, and local shelters. It's vital to foster these connections for us to play a greater role in giving back to the Greater Boston Community. With over 500 students in our school, we are more than capable of creating positive change in our efforts to give back. I look forward to continuing to champion this cause, and inspiring others to do so as well!
We thank Tara for her work and for sitting down with us. We wish her the best of luck in her continued academic success this year and look forward to seeing further service projects at BISB.
Learn more about Catie’s Closet here: https://www.catiescloset.org/