1st Homecoming Parade Since COVID Raises Donations For RISD’s Clothes Closet


During the 1st homecoming parade since COVID, the cross country team holds out their hands to high-five teachers passing by as they approach the judge’s stand, hoping to catch their eyes with their vibrant colored outfits. “We were dressed up like we were on vacation,” cross country runner, Maryam Kassem said. Photo credit: Mallory Derrick

Jana Pulak

Scorching in the Texas heat, the cross country team walked with their colorful tie-dye tank tops along with a pair of gigantic sunglasses and decorative hats. As they approached the judge’s stands, Maryam Kassem did a backbend while Derrick Reed did a side flip right over her, causing the spectators and judges to cheer them on.

As this was the first homecoming parade since COVID, RISD Clothes Closet Volunteer Coordinator, Sara Knowles said she was excited to stock up the clothes closet from this year’s donations.

“We were really low on some stuff, ” said Knowles. “So we really really appreciate what RHS does for this closet. “.

Because they weren’t receiving enough donations for the clothes closet last year, Knowles said that they had to go out of their way to ask for donations from other sources outside of RHS.

“In the past, RHS donations completely supplied the clothes closet for the year because of the donations,” Knowles said.

For over 30 years, the RISD’s clothes closet has been a volunteer-based program collecting donations from all over the district helping out RISD students.

“Our whole goal is to give kids clothing that they are comfortable in, so they can go to school and not be ashamed and focused on their school work,” Knowles said.

They not only provide clothing for students to wear in school but they also provide the service to students that have been a victim in natural disasters or accidents.

“It is like a stepping point for them to get on their feet such as if they are waiting to get insurance money,” Knowles said.

Though hosting the homecoming parade and filling the clothes closet was able to happen for the first time since COVID, restrictions were still enforced and some events were still canceled.

“I have two more years left in high school so I hope in one of those years I don’t have to worry about all the COVID restrictions and enjoy everything to the fullest, ” Maryam Kassem said.