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WESTFIELD, NJ — Led by Westfield High School teacher Jane D’Alessandro, students at WHS are collecting jeans for local youth experiencing homelessness through a project called Teens for Jeans. So far they have collected hundreds of pairs.

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“I was inspired to show students that if we work together, we can help in a big way,”  D’Alessandro said. “I challenged each person, student, staff, faculty member, to bring in two pairs to build a collection to serve homeless teens in our area. Teens helping teens — awesome! I like the recycling aspect, too. These jeans will be used and not shredded. I discussed it with the president of our WHS club Kids on the Block, Ethan Otis,and he loved the idea.”

Jeans are the most requested item by homeless people, D’Alessandro noted.

“They can be worn for a few days with being washed, they are comfortable and sturdy and provide a sense of normalcy,” she said.

Collection will continue through Friday, Feb. 27, at Westfield High School.

Kids who bring in at least two pairs and post pictures of themselves on the Teens for Jeans website are eligible to win a $5,000 scholarship, Dalessandro said.

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