CHIPLEY - If someone were to call members of Chipley High School's Student Council and Leadership Skills Development Class "leaders of tomorrow," one could argue that is not an accurate description - because these local students are arguably leading their community today.
The students are working on a bevy of projects, ranging from planning CHS Homecoming activities and the annual Powder Puff Football game to developing leadership skills through class activities. But it is two of the organization's larger-scale projects which are highlighting the students' commitment to serving others.
Student council members recently launched the "Tiger Pride Closet," a student-led clothing closet that allows those in need to discreetly obtain clothing free of charge.
Student Council member Elijah Nelson says while no one but club sponsor Carol Schimpf knows which students the closet has helped, he estimates that around ten have already made use of the resource, and that even more have donated.
"We have inventoried more than 200 items," said Nelson. "Students can come in while Mrs. Schimpf is in her planning period or any other time there's no one in her room and get clothing items anonymously and discreetly. No one wants to have to worry about if they're going to have clothes to wear to school. This will help make a difference."
And make a difference it has, with one parents writing Schimpf a letter to express their appreciation, stating the Tiger Pride Closet went "above and beyond" anything their extended family would do.
"You have possible began to restore my faith in humanity, something I lost as a child" wrote the parent. "I don't believe I will ever be able to truly express my thanks, appreciate, and gratitude in words."
Student Council Co-Presidents Lila Taylor and Autumn Wells say it's all about improving their corner of the world.
"We just want to make the world a better place and show others that we can do that by starting right here at Chipley High School," said Taylor.
Students are also collecting items for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.
"We just hope people can be empathic to the catastrophe and help make a positive impact in Houston," said Wells.
Carol Schimpf, who lobbied for the Leadership Skills Class as a way to become better organized and have more student involvement in student council, says she couldn't better prouder.
"This is a special group of volunteer students who are serving one another, the school, and the community, and I am very proud of them," she said. "It's amazing what they've accomplished just since we began in late August, and I can't wait to see what they accomplish next."
To donate to the Tiger Pride Closet or the Hurricane Harvey Relief effort, contact Schimpf at firstname.lastname@example.org or any CHS Student Council member.