Smith College Campus School students help with coat drive in Springfield

Last modified: Monday, December 01, 2014

After a string of gun violence occurred in Springfield, killing several people including an 18-year-old girl, Armando Olivares founded “One Spr1ngfield; Young People Stand Up” on June 5.

“I’m going to try to plant the seed in young people to show them they can do something good,” he said.

Olivares planned a winter coat drive and rounded up help from sixth graders at the Smith College Campus School in Northampton.

“We were very fortunate they gave us the opportunity to go to the school and give an overview of what the campaign was about,” he said.

In about a month, the school’s sixth graders collected 80 coats for the drive, which Olivares hopes will be the first of many.

And Tuesday, at an event featuring a popular hip hop artist, 150 coats were given away at the Chestnut Accelerated Middle School on Plainfield Street in Springfield. Winter coats were given to children from North End schools and Kyreem Tabar, a Springfield-based hip hop artist, appeared.

Olivares said the drive also distributed hats, scarves and gloves.

The event is affiliated with the Latino Chamber of Commerce and Project Coach, an organization founded at Smith College in 2002.

One Spr1ngfield also held a back-to-school campaign in which it gave out 125 backpacks filled with school supplies.

“We want to showcase the good in the young people in Springfield,” Olivares said. “We want to work toward serving our community.”


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