St. Thomas Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Launches ‘Comfort Closet’ at Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School, Providing Students with Free Essential Supplies
The Virgin Islands Department of Education announced a new initiative at Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School in St. Thomas, where students now have access to free essential hygiene products, clothing, and school supplies. This initiative, named the DST Comfort Closet, has been made possible due to the tireless efforts of the St. Thomas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The sorority formally adopted the middle school and launched the DST Comfort Closet during a ceremony held at the school. Chapter President Shanika Charles explained that the organization began working closely with BCB during the previous school year. Their goal was to establish a lasting commitment to providing ongoing support to the Bovoni-area school, which serves over 500 students in grades 6-8. Students in need can discreetly obtain items from the on-campus store with the aid of a school counselor, nurse, or teacher.
The project’s origins were elaborated upon by Dr. Kifani Hendricks-Carey, BCB assistant principal and chairperson of the sorority’s Social Action Committee. She shared that the committee had been working tirelessly on this project, as they were aware of the diverse needs of their students. The idea for the comfort closet stemmed from conversations with staff members and a recommendation by the school’s student success specialist, Meki’ya Thomas.
Dr. Hendricks-Carey emphasized the importance of community involvement, stating, “We are here to serve the students, and we are hoping to get the community involved to make sure that the resources continue to be replenished as they are needed. We know that our students have many needs, and we are hoping that the partnership continues in the vein it was started.”
Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Dionne Wells-Hedrington praised the sorority’s efforts and noted that it aligns with one of the Department’s focus areas. She expressed gratitude for the new relationship forged with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and encouraged other organizations to partner with local schools to collectively ensure the best support for their students.
To ensure the DST Comfort Closet remains fully stocked, the chapter, which has 71 active members in St. Thomas, is seeking new donated items from the community. Requested items range from hygiene products like shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste to clothing such as socks, underwear, and shoes, as well as school supplies like backpacks, pencils, and notebooks. Organizers have confirmed that financial donations will be used exclusively for the project.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has plans to expand the Comfort Closet initiative to other middle and high schools throughout the St. Thomas-St. John District. For more information or to donate items, interested individuals can email [email protected] or visit www.sttacdst.org.
For those interested in adopting a school, the Department of Education encourages them to reach out to Director of Partner Relations Monique Creque at (340) 774-0100 ext. 8062 or email [email protected]. By adopting a school, individuals and organizations can play a vital role in supporting students and fostering a strong community.