Spotswood, Helmetta band together to provide winter clothing to residents in need

By Brandon Rubin
Special to Newspaper Media Group

SPOTSWOOD – Winters can be brutal, but now imagine if you don’t have clothing to keep you warm.

Middlesex County is at the center of New Jersey with almost a million residents, 7 percent of whom live below the federal poverty line. This is compounded by the fact that homelessness is a reality for far too many Middlesex County residents.

Winter clothes can provide some relief during the long, cold winter months. An initiative by the Spotswood High School National Honor Society (NHS), called Each One Bring One (EOBO), tried to address this need and asked each student and resident to donate one piece of new or gently used clothing.

Everyone is busy, but we live in a community where we often miss the difficulties that our neighbors face. Simple acts like EOBO help remind us that there are actions that we can take to positively impact our local community.

High School Principal Tom Calder was an early supporter for this initiative and said, “I cannot be more proud of my NHS officers. The response from our school and our community has been overwhelmingly positive and productive. I also know that this has been a great experience and I am confident that our students will continue to always give back to our community through service.”

The drive started in November with the goal of collecting winter clothing to help 200 families. Spotswood High School’s NHS set up collection centers at Schoenly Elementary, Appleby Elementary, Memorial Middle School and Spotswood High schools, as well as at the Spotswood and Helmetta municipal buildings. When the drive ended in early December, the collection count had far exceeded its goal.

Helmetta Mayor Chris Slavicek, Spotswood Mayor Ed Seely, Principal Nancy Torchiano, Principal Jennifer Asprocolas, Principal Brian Kitchen, Sgt. Adam Sabatino of Spotswood PBA Local 225, Melissa Hallerman of the PTA, Donna Faulkenberry of the Office of Aging and many more helped support the initiative by publicizing the event.

“We are so grateful to the NHS students of Spotswood High School who worked so hard to bring joy and brighten the lives of so many with this generous clothing drive for those less fortunate. This is what Christmas is all about,” said Marianne Majewski, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, where all clothing will be donated.

“It was great to have everyone come together to make this drive a great success and help our neighbors in need,” NHS Secretary Chris Mathew said.

For more information on contributing to the next clothing drive, contact Chris at

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