It’s actually working to do good things. For Closets Las Vegas, that means using our talents and experience to help make our local community a better place. After all, it’s built right into our name – Las Vegas. Not sure how closets can make a difference in people’s lives? We think you’ll change your mind as you read on.
Recently, Zappos for Good reached out to Closets Las Vegas to invite us to participate in a new community initiative they were creating called “Closets For Good.” After hearing about the goals of Closets For Good – to help students at need in our local schools – we were all-in to donate our freedomRail closets – design, materials, and installation – for this more than worthy cause.
On January 31, 2019, students, administration, and ongoing donors joined Zappos.com as it launched its new charitable program “Closets for Good” in collaboration with Closets Las Vegas at Richard J Rundle Elementary School. Interviews were available with Rundle Elementary Principal Lenette Reece, Head of Charitable Giving at Zappos Steven Bautista, and Owner of Closets Las Vegas Joe Ferraro.
The new program, catering to local tier 1 elementary, middle and high schools; aims to assist students by stocking each campus’ closet with day-to-day necessities including non-perishable food, school supplies, hygiene products, shoes and clothing. Along with Zappos and Closets Las Vegas, other participating names include Born This Way Foundation, Three Square Food Bank, and Public Education Exchange.
The program’s goals are to donate up to 12 closets by the end of the year. Each closet will be transformable and cater to its specific school, with products ranging in quantity depending on its unique needs.
Alfonsina Corona, 11, stands in the middle of a new closet at Rundle Elementary supplied with food, clothes, school supplies and shoes. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal @miasims)
By Mia Sims / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Updated February 6, 2019 – 10:16 am
Alfonsina Corona, a fifth-grader at Rundle Elementary School, says she has a deeply rooted love for her school.
Her admiration grew on Jan. 31, she said, as she stood among a group of about 30 students at Rundle who awaited the unveiling of a student closet stocked with snacks, clothes, shoes and school supplies. The closet is just down the hall from the school’s front office.
“I was really excited when I heard about it,” said Alfonsina, 11. “It can give people who don’t have food or good jackets when it’s cold a place to come and get what they need.”
The closet was supplied by Zappos for Good, the charitable arm of online shoe and clothing retailer and downtown Las Vegas fixture Zappos.
Students may use the closet to get supplies whenever they need them, according to principal Lenette Reece.
“It allows the students to focus on their education and not worry about the fact that their basic needs need to be met,” Reece said.
Clothes and shoes line the back of the closet, while nonperishable items such as canned beans, macaroni and cheese and sweet corn line the left side. Notebooks, pencils, glue and folders sit on shelves on the closet’s right side.
“The idea was to build a closet that helps teachers and other school officials deliver student needs in a way that is both respectful to students and catered to their education in the classroom,” said Steven Bautista, head of philanthropy for Zappos for Good, based in Las Vegas.
Home improvement store Closets Las Vegas built the framework, Bautista said, and the Public Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides resources for public education, brought in school supplies.
A row of beans line the wall of a new closet at Rundle Elementary that aims to provide students with basic necessities so that they can focus on school. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal @miasims)
“We’re going to be working with Three Square to help bring in the food,” Bautista said. “We’re doing it in a ratio that matches what the school needs. So if the school needs more school supplies, we’re going to go heavier on that and less on something else. It’s tailored to what the school needs.”
The organization is focusing on Title I schools whose students predominantly qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, Bautista said. This is the first of 13 such closets that the company plans to establish at local schools. The other schools haven’t been determined.
Students interested in getting supplies from the closet can approach Reece or assistant principal Stacey Sly.
“This is going to have a huge impact on the students,” Reece said. “Because these are essentials.”