Earlier this month, the students in Dale Flannery’s fifth-grade class organized a clothing drive for the Amphitheater Clothing Bank. The outpour from the students at Copper Creek Elementary School was overwhelming.

Last week, hundreds of items ranging from clothes and shoes to toys and lamps came flooding in, filling bins strategically placed around the school campus to allow students from all grades easy drop-offs.

The student in Flannery’s class prepared and reminded the school in the days leading up to the donations by making posters and placing them around the school and giving reminders in the daily announcements.

After all was collected, the goods were then taken and given to the Amphitheater Clothing Bank.

“It was so incredible that there was so much that they couldn’t even count them,” said Valerie Vandivort, who is a mom of one of the students in the class. “The idea was for the kids to tally the items and kind of make a math project, but they were so overwhelmed by how much was brought in, they lost count.”

Students brought in helmets, books, toys, lamps, clothes, jackets, along with new pairs of socks and underwear for kids.

The reason the fifth-graders volunteered their time and efforts toward organizing a drive for the clothing bank was due in part with participating in an education program.

STARBASE is an educational program offered at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where students take field trips to the base and learn with hands-on activities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

In return for the free program, which is sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, students must participate in a “one day call to service.” Their day of service brought in hundreds of items that help families in need who live in the Amphitheater School District.

Without the help of the families in the community surrounding the school, the clothing drive would not have been possible.

“I’m very proud of the Copper Creek Community, because even after the drive was over, we still had things coming in,” Flannery said. “It’s always amazing what this community does. They go above and beyond in any spectrum.”

The Amphitheater Clothing Bank, which is located at 3335 North Stone Avenue, was founded by teachers to lend to families in need by providing used clothing and household items. It collects more then 40,000 articles of clothing each year for thousands of Amphitheater students and families.

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