A program run by WPS students
Andy’s Attic is a 501c3 nonprofit organization run and managed by teenagers from South High Community School in Worcester, whose primary mission is to help those in need by providing a season’s worth of gently used clothing and new socks and underwear. We are an organization situated in an inner city urban high school, solely run by our teen student volunteers and those who are involved in the Nonprofit Management course offered by the high school.
100% of all clothing and monetary donations go directly to our cause of providing community support to high school students and their families throughout all of the Worcester Public School System (roughly 26,000 students) and families throughout Worcester County.
We currently work in partnership with:
- TJ Maxx Corporation
- The United Way
- From Cradles To Crayons
- and other community partners.
If you are interested in supporting Andy’s Attic or want to get involved, we would love to hear from you!
Christine H. Foley
Andy’s Attic Director/Community Service Liaison
How the program works
We currently support approximately 50-70 people per week and are servicing over 60 schools and agencies throughout Worcester County. Each request received from our clients includes a season’s worth of gently used clothing, a new package of socks, new underwear, and a new backpack filled with school supplies. Monetary donations from independent donors, grants and fundraisers are used to purchase our new items. We currently spend $1,100.00 each month (for 10 months each year) on supplying new items. Our goal for the future is to provide new sneakers and a toiletry package with each order.
We are also supported greatly by our community members from preschoolers to grandparents who volunteer once per month in our very popular Community Service Days. During these days many projects are completed that cannot be completed during our typical school day because of time constraints and manpower. During these volunteer days we average 60-70 community members who complete such tasks such as organizing clothing shelves, putting donations away, filling orders for our clients, and large jobs such as reorganizing entire departments and coordinating coats with matching hats, mittens, gloves and snow pants.
We love our volunteer days for many reasons: I enjoy watching my South students become instant managers and lead large groups of people to complete a task. You can see the pride and passion come through when they are giving tours. On these volunteer days we get entire sports teams, National Honor Society members, Girl Scout Troops, Women’s Groups, Cultural Groups, Business Groups and Families who want to work together. Students can earn community service hours to be used for college applications, high school requirements and scholarship applications.
Nonprofit Management I and II
Students enrolled in the nonprofit management course work will follow the current Marketing Curriculum as well as the Nonprofit Management Curriculum created by the Community Service Liaison. The Liaison will create and guide the students through offerings such as Career Pathway Internships, Budgeting, Grant Writing, Web Design/Social Media and Community Communication, Appearances and Service. As part of a community relationship and a career pathway for Worcester Public School Students, the liaison will develop a bridge between Nonprofit Management course and a third course offered through Worcester State University. Target goal being creating a connection between academic marketing and service learning curriculum and community service.
The Nonprofit Management Course will function and operate upon a rotating vocational schedule. One week is class work revolving around nonprofit business practices, and the following week working on business matters that need to be completed to run the nonprofit.
Nonprofit Management begins with students given the opportunity to choose where they would like to sit on our Board of Directors according to their own passions and interests. Positions include Management, Marketing/Social Media, Secretarial, Data Collection, Finance, Historian, Fundraising, Grant Writers, Maintenance and Community Service Advocates. During our work week students work on tasks within their own position and sometimes other positions in order to keep the business running. All students work with each other cooperatively to keep the business successful. Students have full reign to design, redesign and implement new ideas, new concepts and projects. Watching students follow their passion while helping the community is so rewarding to me as an educator.
In Nonprofit management, the combination of learning business and nonprofit skills combined with helping the community and feeling compassion for those around us and raising an awareness of the community around you is an incredible concept that I believe will create a community of compassionate and giving adults.
Andy’s Attic welcomes Business owners and Nonprofit managers throughout the city to speak about their passion and their commitment to their work and their journey to getting there. This is another exciting part of our course that allows our students to give tours and work with members of our community. The community member generally speaks for 30 minutes about a designated topic such as creating board members to how to successfully fundraise. Students will photograph the experience and post on our social media pages.
Resume and Interviewing with Confidence Unit:
A major focus of the Nonprofit Management Course is to complete a resume and learn how to properly and successfully interview for a job. Students spend lots of time refining their resume, understanding what a proper interview looks like; including proper attire, learning to tie a tie, iron a dress shirt, posture and eye contact. Students will all participate in a mock interview for an internship position from members of our community. Students will be rated on their performance, and be provided with feedback.
Students will spend time learning the principles of banking, the parts of a check, how to deposit checks through online mobile banking and balancing a checkbook. Students in our finance department will use this method to deposit our donation checks into our account and keep records of money coming in to the nonprofit and where our funding is being spent.
Budgeting Field Trip:
One of the highlights of Nonprofit Management is to participate in our Budgeting Field Trip to Walmart. Students are split up into two teams and are each given $300.00 gift cards. Prior to the trip each group is designated a specific department, for example, elementary boys and teen girls, depending on our specific inventory need at the time. Students will take inventory of what items we are low on and create a list of needed items. Groups will decide on managers, cart pushers, time keepers, shoppers and finance. The goal of the project is to spend as much of the $300.00 on their designated department items without going over, but getting the best deals they can get with their money. Students are also looking for a Bonus Item where they saved the most money on one item. This project focuses on leadership, teamwork, cooperation, budgeting, and time management. The kids love this!
To conclude our course, students are to come up with their own nonprofit organizations according to their own passions and present their organization to the class using power point or trifold presentation boards. Requirements include: Name and slogan, mission statements, vision statements, specific paperwork needed, fundraising, goals, funding letters and a description of how their nonprofit will function. This project really shows the individuality of each students passion and how it evolves. Each project is always different and I absolutely love to see what my students come up with.