By Stephanie Mikneus
Students can donate used jeans through Sunday to a clothing drive to provide the popular denim pants to homeless teens.
A drive begun Jan. 22 has combined the efforts of Aeropostale, a store catering to teens, and the Do Something Organization.
Aeropostale’s six San Antonio locations are donation stations for gently used jeans. As a reward for donating, Aeropostale will give customers a 20 percent discount on a new pair.
Do Something is a Web site is a clearinghouse of volunteer and donation opportunities throughout the nation.
According to a study done by the National Coalition for the Homeless,and the National Runaway Switchboard, homeless youths are defined as individuals under the age of 18 who lack parental, foster or institutional care.
One study estimates that between 1.6 million and 2.3 million runaway and homeless youth live on the streets in this country.
“There are hundreds of thousands of homeless teens in America, and our customers are usually 13- to 18-year-olds, it just seemed to make sense,” Becki Sweeney, an assistant manager at Aeropostale’s North Star Mall location, explained.
At the time of the interview, North Star had collected 75 pairs.
Other participating locations include Aeropostale stores at Ingram Park Mall, Shops at La Cantera, Rolling Oaks Mall, Rivercenter Mall and the Village at Stone Oak.
A participating shelter is the San Antonio Rescue Mission, a local shelter for males.
The SA Rescue Mission takes the donated items and distributes them to the men who visit overnight.
“We provide them with clothing, food, shelter, and a nightly gospel,” said Bonnie Vaughan, donation coordinator for the organization.
Many of the men are seeking jobs, and they will perform daily hard labor work activities that require the use of jeans, Vaughan said.
Donations can be made at any Aeropostale location from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. today and Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
After Sunday, donations can be made directly to the following San Antonio shelters: SAMMinistries, Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, San Antonio Rescue Mission and the Children’s Shelter of San Antonio.
For more information on how to contribute, log on to www.aeropostale.com or www.dosomething.org.