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551 pairs of blue jeans will soon find new legs

NORTH CANAAN — What does it look like when you put together 551 pairs of jeans? To those who collected them at North Canaan Elementary School (NCES) and Housatonic Valley Regional High School, it looks like a successful clothing drive for people in local shelters. The NCES PTO led a collection for the past month, taking in 448 pairs, in all sizes, at the school and at Collins Diner. Another 103 was collected in a week when a box was set up at the high school.The nationwide program is sponsored by Do Something and Aeropostale. The school that collects the most jeans will win $5,000 and a new pair of jeans for every student.Housy freshmen (and NCES alumni) Evan Bosio and Mitchell Blass sorted the jeans and tied them into bundles, earning community service hours toward their Confirmation at St. Mary’s Church in Lakeville. They joined the Cooke and Riccardelli families to bring them to the Aeropostale store in Lee, Mass.NCES PTO President Nikki Blass said it was about more than winning for them.“It was the idea that the jeans stayed locally and that they would go to homeless shelters within our community,” she said. It was one more testament to the power of teamwork and how it can inspire.“One phone call I won’t forget is when my phone rang Saturday, Feb. 4. It was an NCES mom whose family had spent endless hours cleaning out their closets. The phone message was, “I have 75 pairs of jeans for you!” That family just helped out 75 homeless people as they took this drive seriously. Will PTO do this again? You bet. In fact we hope to make it bigger and better each year.”

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