Dulaney’s Closet of Support Provides for Students in Need

Erin Patterson, Editor

The Dulaney High School (DHS) Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) offers countless types of support for DHS students, many of which have not been heard of before. The PTSA Closet of Support (COS), a closet filled with everyday necessities, is one way students can receive aid from the school.

 The COS is located in a closet across from Mr. Wynkoop’s office. The closet includes school supplies (such as notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, backpacks and calculators), toiletries (such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, combs, deodorant and feminine hygiene products), limited clothing items (such as sweatshirts, jackets, socks and underwear) and a few cleaning supplies. 

Additionally, for the return to school, filled backpacks are distributed with school supplies. For Thanksgiving, winter break and spring break, food bins or bags are given to DHS families.  Over winter break, gift collections are held for some Dulaney families recommended by guidance or the DHS social worker Ms. Parenti. The COS is available year round and is open to any student in need of these items. 

The goal of the Closet of Support is to have students feel comfortable using the supplies; therefore, every student is anonymous. Most of the time a staff member or teacher can tell students about the closet to then ask office staff or guidance to get supplies from the COS for them. Ms. Parenti also gives recommendations of families or students in need of assistance who can receive help from the COS as well.  

The Closet of Support began in 2017 when the PTSA was given a $2,000 grant from the volunteer organization, the Mount Moriah Lodge Masons. Founders Amiee Anton and Lee Ann Sugarman met with Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, the founder of the Student Support Network, to discuss how to start up a support program. 

“We met with Mr Wynkoop to see where we could start something like this at Dulaney.  He offered us the closet across from his office which is how we came up with the name Closet of Support,” Anton said.

At the moment, the COS has plenty of school supplies but could use donations of toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste. The donations can be brought into the front office labeled for the closet of support.   Every month at the PTSA meeting Anton gives an update about the COS and any donations possibly needed. Furthermore, there may be a section within the PTSA newsletter that highlights the current donations needed for the COS. 

“It has always been important to me to help those in need. I grew up volunteering for different organizations helping children and I was involved with the Outreach committees at Jacksonville Elementary and Cockeysville Middle while my children were there,” said Anton. 

The COS continues to run and will shift leaders next year. Until then, it is available to any student who needs it. Many students benefit from the COS due to the abundant donations given through the PTSA. If people are looking for a way to give back to the DHS community, the COS is ready to receive their generosity.