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“An Awesome Resource”: Taylor Olds (‘24) and the Restoration of Ada’s Closet

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Taylor Olds (‘24)

Tucked away at the top of a South Building staircase, an old Bellows Free Academy resource is being brought back to life.

Ada’s Closet began in 2019, in memory of Ada Sorensen, a former BFA student who died unexpectedly in a 2018 car accident. Over the past few years, the closet has amassed a myriad of donated resources to share with students in need. 

Though the closet has been open for almost five years now, the space has had struggles with organization and student awareness. This year, Stephanie Hodgeman posed the task of restoring the space to the Interact Club as a service project.

Taylor Olds, a BFA senior and member of the Interact Club, took up the challenge and has been spearheading the restoration process as the Director of Ada’s Closet.

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“I [was] really interested in getting it back up and running,” Olds said.

According to Olds, revamping this resource has been quite the process. She, along with other Interact members and Jeff Moulton’s advisory, began working on the space at the beginning of the school year and is still working to restore the space to its former glory.

Olds had a lot to say when asked about the state of the space at the beginning of her work.

“It was horrendous,” She said. “It was like this messy storage space for all this great stuff.”

The closet, Olds shared, has needed a lot of organization in order to get back into shape. Some of the tasks have included throwing out old and expired products, sorting materials, and generally tidying up the area. The closet has a large amount of quality goods, but is in need of some support to become more accessible for students.

“A lot of classes have done fundraisers for the closet,” Olds said. “But no one has really taken the next step to make it useful.”

Ada’s Closet contains a myriad of products for students, including school supplies and hygienic products (such as deodorant or menstrual care items). It also features clothing and shoes in varying sizes and styles. All items are inspected for quality before being placed in the space.

“It’s a lot of basics that get donated,” Olds said. “Mostly by faculty [members].”

Now, after months of hard work, Ada’s Closet is organized and refreshed for students to access. However, that may be another hurdle.

“At this point, it’s just about keeping up with the donations that we’re getting,” Olds said. She added, “And trying to get [the closet] going again.”

One concern Olds shared is the lack of awareness from students about Ada’s Closet as a resource. According to her, many students either don’t know about the space or don’t believe it’s meant for them. Olds says that this isn’t true.

“You don’t have to be in dire need in order to use the closet,” Olds said. “It’s a good place to access some essentials, [like deodorant].”

The Mercury also spoke to Olds about the resources that Ada’s Closet offers, in addition to its goods. She shared that there has been collaboration with Spectrum to provide poverty and homelessness support through Guidance.

“We want to make sure that students who are using [the closet] have access to some long-term helpful solutions,” Olds said.

According to Olds, her motivation for her work on Ada’s Closet went beyond her interest in community service through Interact.

“I try to leave places better than I found them,” Olds said. “I felt like getting the closet up and running again could be one small way to do that.”

If you are interested in gaining access to Ada’s Closet and the resources it offers, please get in touch with a member of the Guidance Department using the document here. If you are interested in donating any goods to Ada’s Closet, they are currently in need of the following items:

  • Men’s & Women’s T-Shirts
  • Men’s & Women’s Hoodies, Sweatshirts and Crew necks
  • Women’s Long-Sleeve Shirts
  • Men’s Pants (Jeans, Khakis, etc.)

 

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About the Contributor
Rachel Ledoux, Editor-in-Chief
As a senior, this will be Rachel’s fourth year as a writer for The Mercury and her second year as an editor. Rachel enjoys writing for The Mercury as a way of improving her reporting skills and amplifying the voices of her peers. In her free time, she likes reading, social organizing and volunteering. Rachel is also Editor-In-Chief of the Yearbook, Stage Manager for the Theatre Department, and youth representative on the St. Albans City Committee on Energy & Climate.

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    MorleenFeb 10, 2024 at 6:52 am

    When can people drop off clothes ? Days and times. Thanks

    Reply