NEWS — November 5, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Women Out of the Kitchen hosts clothing drive

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(From left to right) Morgan Schreiber, Kathy Liu, Joanna Zhuang, Jessie Sinitch, Sam Maldonado, Keila Velasquez, and Kathy Liu fill three cars with clothing donations.
(From left to right) Morgan Schreiber, Kathy Liu, Joanna Zhuang, Jessie Sinitch, Sam Maldonado, Keila Velasquez, and Kathy Liu fill three cars with clothing donations.

The holiday season hasn’t quite hit yet, but already, the spirit of giving has begun to saturate the air. Douglas’s Women Out of the Kitchen experienced this premature philanthropic rush last week, as the club hosted the second annual clothing drive for Women in Distress. Lasting from Oct. 26 to 30, the clothing drive raised a total of about $2,500 worth of clothing, as estimated by a representative from Women in Distress.

Over the course of a single week, club members, teachers and the general student body came together to make the charity project wildly successful. Donation boxes were placed in Foster, Fink, Orilio, Kenny, Wolk, Hitchcock, Jeter, Henry, Daon, Edgar, Amelkin, and Schamis’s rooms, with several teachers even offering extra credit for everything from female and male clothing to shoes.

“The drive ran smoothly. I’m really happy with how everything turned out,” Women Out of the Kitchen President Jessie Sinitch said. “All of the teachers seemed really excited to promote our cause, and we are so grateful for all the students who donated their clothes for the organization.”

As the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center in Broward County, Women in Distress perfectly fits the purpose of Douglas’s feminist club, which was founded by current senior Jessie Sinitch and Douglas alumni Lindsay Wright. Through a combination of discussion meetings, which provide a safe space the discussion of societal issues such as gender roles and Planned Parenthood, and charity meetings, Women Out of the Kitchen intends to help raise awareness of inherent inequalities in society and thus help foster an increasingly accepting population. Last year, the club raised over $5,000 worth of clothing for Women in Distress, as well as over $800 for Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services.

“I really feel like we’re making a difference,” club Treasurer Katherine Liu said. “Collecting the clothes was kind of a pain, but just knowing that we’re actually contributing to a cause is like no other feeling in the world.”

Although the clothing drive has ended, the efforts of Women Out of the Kitchen continue. The club, which also plans to again work with Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services, will continue hosting meetings every other Tuesday, alternating between discussion meetings welcome to anyone who shows up and charity meetings exclusive for paid members.

Joanna Zhuang is currently a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and is Co-Editor-in-chief of The Eagle Eye. With her interest in journalism, she has interned and written for The Parklander Magazine. Additionally, she enjoys to dance and play piano.

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