BARSTOW They collected canned goods and coats for Desert Manna Ministries last fall and helped deliver toys for Christmas Cops and Kids during the holidays, now Barstow High School students are working to make sure local teens have clothes to wear.

Georgia Harris, vice president of the high school's student government, was introduced to the program through her job at the Barstow Aeropostale at Tanger Outlet Center, where she has worked for the past three months. So far she and other ASB officers have collected about 100 jeans. They are going to be asking for donations from their fellow students soon, Harris said.

"We do a lot for the community," she said. "My advisor was trying to find a way to reach out to the community as far as teenagers because that's what we focus on. I came to him with this idea and he absolutely loved it."

Aeropostale started the Teens for Jeans program four years ago and the Barstow store has participated in it for three years, said store manager Elyce Gray. People who bring a pair of jeans to the store receive 25 percent off on a new pair of jeans. Teens who donate jeans as part of a high school project are eligible to win $5,000 for their school and a schoolwide party.

As of Monday morning about 74 pairs of jeans had been donated to the Barstow store, Gray said. The jeans will be donated to Desert Manna Ministries. The program started Jan. 17 and will end Feb. 13.

"Last year we collected more than 623 pairs of jeans," she said. "This year we want to get teens involved to help other teens that are less fortunate."

Harris said the Teens for Jeans program is a good way to give back to the community and raise funds for the school. Once they collect all their jeans they'll bring them over to Aerpostale.

"I know with the economy a lot of people can't afford new clothes," she said. "And it's not just older people that are affected by this it's also the teens and the kids, and nobody really focuses on that."

People who want to donate jeans can bring them to the Aerpostale store at 2796 Tanger Way. Gray said the jeans had to be wearable, but could be any style or size.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com