Students create “Comfort Closet” to help peers; can you help?

the members of the keystone club are standing behind the Board table with members of the Board of Education.
Keystone Club members pose with the Board of Education, Monticello district leaders and representatives from the Boys and Girls Club after their Board presentation.

Many people reading this article will never have to wonder if they’ll be able to brush their teeth in the morning. In their lives, the tube of toothpaste and toothbrush sitting on top of the bathroom sink is as ubiquitous as the sun coming up each day. But, in Monticello High School, a whopping 73 percent of students surveyed by the Boys and Girls Keystone Club reported that they have gone without necessary hygiene products. That’s why the Keystone Club has been working diligently to create a “Comfort Closet” as their year-long service project.

The “Comfort Closet” will stock personal hygiene items and toiletries for Monticello High School students in need. The Keystone Club has been working since December to bring this project to fruition, soliciting donations and support from district and government leaders, local businesses and other sponsors. They’ve researched similar projects in other districts, reached out to community organizations to help set up off-site donation boxes and even secured a $2,500 grant from Sullivan Renaissance to purchase a mobile cabinet. On March 5, the Keystone Club addressed the Monticello Board of Education during its regular meeting.

They outlined their research, tallied the donations and pledges they received and explained how they plan to sustain the closet into the future. They also spoke of how they plan to distribute the items to students in need. Their presentation included anonymous student anecdotes about how lack of access to hygiene items had impacted their school performance and attendance, which were read aloud by individual board members.

The Keystone Club plans to have items available for students after spring break. They will accept donations on an on-going basis of the items listed below. Donations may be dropped off to the main office of Monticello High School, or may be dropped off in collection boxes at Jeff Bank branches. The group will also accept monetary donations, which they will use to purchase gift certificates to local laundromats, hair salons and barbershops for students.

For more information, please contact 845-342-8833, or

Items needed

(Please note all items must be new. The group is unable to accept body spray)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash
  • Bar soap
  • Mouthwash
  • Dental Floss
  • Face Wipes
  • Face Wash
  • Face Soap
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Loofah
  • Hair gel
  • Hair ties
  • Flushable wipes
  • Rubber bands
  • Tooth brush
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Q tips
  • Laundry Soap
  • Dryer sheets
  • Laundromat Voucher
  • Hairbrush
  • Feminine hygiene items