VEEDERSBURG — Ashley Hammond has had a vision for quite some time to create a clothes closet for students in need.
The vision from the Fountain Central High School principal became a reality at the start of the second semester with the opening of the Mustang Mall. Students in need now have the opportunity to choose from an assortment of clothing and hygiene items.
Donations for the project began to come in last school year, including proceeds from a community basketball shootout fundraiser. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening date for the mall was delayed. Then special education teachers Ryan Hall and Emily Peterson stepped in to help organize the donations and get the project off the ground in December.
“She just had a vision,” Hall said of Hammond. “We have so many students and so many community members who are looking for clothes, hygeine products and she just worked on putting stuff together.”
Hall and Peterson used class time and their students to organize the donations, boosting their life skills.
“Mr. Hall and Mrs. Peterson literally took the vision and ran with it,” Hammond said. “I cannot tell you the countless hours they have spent with and without their classes to put this mall together. They have put together clothing racks, gone through clothes galore, sorted, labeled, organized, cleaned and much more. I had a vision, but the credit for the Mustang Mall goes to Mr. Hall, Mrs. Peterson and their classes of students.”
The Mustang Mall, which was named by Mr. Hall and Mrs. Peterson’s classes, is located inside the high school next to athletic director Jason Good’s office, and when a teacher discovers a student is in need, they contact Mr. Hall or Mrs. Peterson and they take the student through the mall with a bag, allowing them to pick out the items they desire.
While it’s currently open only to students at the junior-senior high, the long-term plan is to reach as many community members in need as possible.
“We really want it to be a community shop, where it helps everybody in the community, and not just the kids at school,” Hall said.
To donate email Ryan Hall at email@example.com or call at 765-294-2206, ext 2109.