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JT's Cupboard opens to help those in need
11 students  stand  in front of a doorwayUnadilla Valley Secondary School students recently dedicated a small corner of the school building with a new purpose – to help out those in need within the school community.

The new space is named JT’s Cupboard in memory of former school board member Jamie Thompson.

The mission of JT’s Cupboard, which is located in a former classroom in the Secondary School wing, is to help anyone in the school community with necessities. The cupboard is stocked with a range of clothing, formal wear, shoes, personal hygiene and more.

A ribbon cutting was held on June 7.

“We’re doing it for everybody that needs clothes, people can come in and grab whatever they need. It’s all free,” said RayLynne Kuhn, president of Project Synergy, a student group that helped lead the effort. “We’re trying to make the school a better place, the community a better place.”

RayLynne said she saw a few other schools doing similar projects and thought it might be a great opportunity for UV.
Paige Catena, vice president of Project Synergy, agreed.

“I think we are all proud of it. We just wanted to help people in need,” Paige said.  “We were happy to create a place where people can get help and get what they need and not feel like they are being judged.”

The inside of a store is seenProject Synergy Treasurer Alyssa Manwarren and Secretary Jordyn Riley agreed.

“I really feel like it’s a good way to bring everybody in the community together and to have a common cause,” Alyssa said.

Jordyn explained the group is taking donations, which can be brought to the Secondary School office, dropped off at JT’s Cupboard or given to Student Advocate Kevin Nial. There is a special need for warmer weather clothes and gym clothes, she said. 

The formal wear is available for loan with a deposit for special events. 

For the remainder of the school year, the students will try to have the store open for student “shoppers” during Study Lab each day. Hours are expected to expand in the fall. 

UV wishes to thank the following:
  • Betty Bell and the First Presbyterian Church for their donations
  • Sharon Cook and the Christ Community Church in Syracuse for their donations
  • Ms. Oglesby and her crew of students for assisting in getting the store ready
  • Mrs. Ramirez and her students for making the snacks
  • The UV Mission Fund and the local church’s 
  • Mr. Beadle and his crew for tolerating us and helping get the store ready
  • All of the students in Project Synergy/Rotary Interact Club for all of their hard work
  • Thompson’s Tiny Tot’s Memorial Fund and the Thompson family
  • Everyone else who helped in any way make this happen