At the end of each academic quarter, the boys’ school donates all lost and found items to a local charity. When I ask if I can take them to the kids at our sister school in Over-The-Rhine located in one of Cincinnati’s poorest neighborhoods, I’m immediately told yes.
One look at the avalanche of coats and sweatshirts that weigh down a rolling coat rack and spill onto the floor tells me what I’ve long suspected. Kids in our school have more than they will ever miss.
I check each jacket for a name scribbled on a tag. If there’s a name, I can help it find its way home. Those without names get tossed into one of two industrial sized, black garbage bags.
As I systematically go through the pile, a little girl approaches.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“All of these unclaimed coats are going to be given to kids who don’t have coats in Cincinnati,” I explain.
Her eyes widen as I continue to stuff the bag: North Face. Gap. Columbia. Gorgeous, expensive unclaimed coats. This bounty remains after two emails and one newsletter reminder that ask parents to check the lost and found for their kid’s things. We added another week as a grace period.
The little girl tst tst’s her tongue and shakes her finger, “Parents aren’t going to like that.”