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LFO collecting jeans for homeless teens

Blue jean-wearing Warriors are walking the halls of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School on their mission to help local homeless teens have a pair of blue jeans.

The school is hosting a related Teens for Jeans charity drive that ends Thursday, Feb. 14. Teens for Jeans seeks to collect new or gently used denim jeans of any color, brand and size to give to local homeless teenagers.

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Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School Teens for Jeans charity drive organizers from left are LFO Deca Club sponsor/marketing teacher Dewayne Watkins, club president Megan Sircy, Morgan Jackman and Deca Club co-vice presidents Jake Evatt and Mary Casey. The group holds pairs of jeans that will be presented to local homeless teens Thursday, Feb. 14.

“If I was a homeless teen I would appreciate a pair of blue jeans,” said 18-year-old LFO High School student Morgan Jackman, who has helped spearhead the drive since being the voice that started it at the school last year. “Teenagers like to show their personality through the color of their jeans or the style of their jeans. We would like to get the community involved as much as possible by asking community members to donate their jeans too.”

One out of every three teenagers in the United States is homeless, she added.

“It’s crazy to think that people my own age are homeless,” said Jackman. “There are 1.7 million homeless people under the age of 18 today in the United States.”

The jeans she and her friends are collecting at the school will be presented to the Aeropostale store inside Hamilton Place Mall Feb. 14 and the store’s employees will take the jeans to local Chattanooga area homeless shelters.

According to Deca Club sponsor/marketing teacher Dewayne Watkins, the school’s first drive in 2012 collected 800 pairs of jeans. This year the goal is to collect 1,800 pairs of jeans. If all the school’s 900 students bring in two pairs of jeans, the 1,800 goal will be met, he said.

“If you set your mind to something you can achieve it,” said Jackman. “One student can make a difference and lead 900 to help change the community.”

The first block class of students that brings in the most blue jeans will receive a free breakfast sponsored by Chick-fil-A. Walmart is giving gift cards as incentives for drive donations or to help purchase more blue jeans as well.

“We hope people will help us in this inspiring task to help one child at a time by just doing something as little as giving them your old jeans,” said Blackman. “Anyone who wants to donate can bring their jeans to the main office at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School or send them to 1850 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., 30742.”

Watkins purchased a $50 Mapco gift card to donate to the teacher that brings in the most jeans too.

“Last year, teacher Debbie Stone brought in 50 pairs of jeans, so she won the gift card,” said Watkins.

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