Girls donated 200 costumes to Clackamas County Clothes Closet

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Eighth-grade Girl Scouts Johanna Parker and Sophie Bohley work toward their silver award with costume drive. Eighth-graders Johanna Parker and Sophie Bohley helped make Halloween a little brighter and spookier for families in need this year. The duo hosted a Halloween costume and accessories drive and donated about 200 items to the Clackamas County Clothes Closet in Oregon City.

Parker and Bohley attend Athey Creek Middle School and belong to Girl Scout Troop 40758. The costume drive was part of a Girl Scout project to earn a silver award — the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn and the highest award someone their age level can attain.

To achieve this award, each girl must spend 50 hours on a project that is original and designed to help the community. The project must also include an aspect of sustainability. The duo said they chose the costume drive because they wanted to help kids whose families struggle financially.

“It's been a great experience,” Bohley said. “I think the best part of the project was that it benefited other people.”

The Clackamas County Clothes Closet is a PTA-sponsored facility at Oregon City’s Jackson Street Campus. The store provides gently used and new clothes to families in need with school-aged children in Clackamas County. Families are sent to the store by referral from their schools.

In September, Parker and Bohley reached out to their church, Resurrection Catholic Parish in Tualatin, for donations. The girls made announcements after Mass and handed out fliers.

“We got to know a lot of people at our church through this project,” Parker said. “My favorite part about the whole project was when we brought the donations to the store and saw children and families picking out costumes.”

In the end, the charitable duo received animal, superhero, princess, fairy, Disney costumes and more for both children and adults. Parishioners also donated fabrics, old curtains, tarps, furs — even an old wedding dress — which Parker and Bohley sewed (for the first time ever) into capes, ghost costumes and more.

The girls said sorting, washing and mending all 200 costumes was time intensive and they've also mostly hit their 50 hour mark. To keep the project alive and going — and adhere to the sustainability aspect of the project — the duo plans to create a binder with information, recommendations and guidelines so future groups can use their costume drive model.

The Clackamas County Clothes Closet is located at 1306 12th St., Oregon City. To make a donation or for more information, call 503-785-8877.

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