Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Clothing Connection Newsletter.  In each issue, we will keep you informed about who we are and what we are doing as an organization.  This month, we will introduce you to our newest board member, let our high school intern inform you on how clothing is important for a successful school day, and showcase one of our community partners.

Clothing Connection History


We started as an organization at the Carlton Innovation School in the spring of 2016.  We quickly expanded to the Bates and Saltonstall schools and are now serving all of Salem’s elementary schools as well as maintaining a clothing and toiletries closet at Collins Middle School and a partnership with the Salem Food Pantry at the high school. 

Why Clothing Matters to the School Day

by Charlotte Meen

As the weather begins to warm up, students all across Salem make changes to their wardrobe. The winter coats begin to fall off, and shorts make an appearance. For some kids it’s an easy transition, they already have clothes from last year to switch into or maybe even new clothes they just bought. For a lot of kids, access to clothing for all seasons is hard to come by, which affects their performance at school and how comfortable they are going about everyday life. 


If a student is uncomfortable due to their clothing not fitting, or being too thick for the weather, how can they be expected to go about their day?  “When students don't have to worry about basic needs (including having clothing appropriate for the temperatures) - it's "easier to focus on being a student" and they feel good about themselves.” Elizabeth Yoder, City Connects Coordinator said. 


Yoder said clothes can also positively impact academic achievement.    “When students feel safe and comfortable, they are able to focus more on their academics and their learning capacity increases.” 


Board Member Corner: Jeff Fox


Jeffrey Fox is new to the Clothing Connection board, but has participated in some of their fundraisers in the past. Jeff has been teaching Physics at Saugus High School since 2004, which is also when he relocated to Salem from San Jose, California. In his free time, Jeff likes to ski, hike, swim, and cook. He also likes to challenge himself with trivia and puzzles. Jeff especially enjoys these activities when they involve his wife (not the cooking!) and two children.


The Salem High School Pantry & Closet

At the Salem High School Pantry & Closet, we share a space with the Salem Food Pantry and partner with high school staff to ensure that students have access to clean, basic clothing, and essential toiletries. Board member Vickie Dawson runs the Clothing Connection side of the pantry where the needs of the closet are ever changing. We can always use socks, boxer briefs, and panties.  In addition, feminine hygiene products are always in demand (pads and tampons of all sizes are welcome donations). If you are interested in donating, please contact Vickie at 978-578-5694.


Thank You

Jess and Doug Cristel, the Assouad family, the Ricciarelli family, and the Sverker family for your generous donations.


I Support The Girls

I Support the Girls gave us a generous grant of 100 tampons, 1500 pads, and 150 bras.  I Support the Girls provides essentials like underwear and menstrual products to those in need. We paid a $65 shipping fee for the items (if you live near one of their distribution centers, there is no shipping cost  Check out for more information.


To our Community Outreach Coordinator, Beth Forrestal, for her honorary membership in the Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honor Society.  Beth was honored for her work with Salem State University’s Foreign Languages and World Cultures Department Community Placement program.

How Can You Help? 

Follow us on Facebook to support our newest initiative T-shirt Tuesday.  We will be highlighting a style of t-shirt each Tuesday.  These styles will be the ones we see the most preference for, ie., unicorns, legos, superheroes, etc.  Keep your eyes open if interested.

Host a Facebook Fundraiser!  Have a birthday coming up? Put up a fundraiser for your family and friends near and far to celebrate with you with a donation to the Clothing Connection.  These fundraisers are no fuss and high reward.