He’s paying it forward

Middle school student starts clothing closet for students, community members in need

Gared Skorick decided to start a clothing closet at Liberty Middle School as a way to give back after he had been helped by being able to use one at Anacortes Middle School. Buy this photo

Gared Skorick knows what it’s like to go without the essentials.

The 13-year-old Camas resident once had to move, without much warning, to an entirely different city and school due to life circumstances,

At Anacortes Middle School in Anacortes, Wash., he found a lifeboat to cling to in the sea of change: The school’s clothing closet.

“I needed (basic) things and it really helped me a lot,” he said. “It was nice to know if I ever needed anything else, they would help me in any way that they could.”

After returning to Liberty Middle School last year, he asked Principal Marilyn Boerke about the possibility of starting a clothing and toiletry closet at the school.

“I found there was a need in Camas for this and I wanted to help other people like I was helped,” Skorick said.

The clothing closet will be open at Liberty Middle School every Wednesday during all lunch periods. Student volunteers are being sought, as well as clothing items for all ages and toiletries such as shampoos, conditioner, bar soap, body wash, hair products, toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss. Cash donations are also accepted.

Donations can be dropped off at the school office at 1612 N.E. Garfield St.

The closet has gotten off to a slow start, but Skorick is hoping usage will pick up when school begins next week.

“We’re trying to get more people,” he said. “The need is there.”

He is hoping to expand the service to adults in the community as well.

“We are really in need of adult-sized clothing,” Skorick said. “This isn’t just for students.”

For more information, contact Liberty Middle School at 833-5850.