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Students give jeans for homeless teens

Students from seven high schools in Islip helped donate more than 1,400 pairs of jeans for a national group that aids homeless teens.

The denim will go to the Teens for Jeans program, which has doled out about 3.5 million pairs to those in need around the country in the past seven years.

Students at the following high schools ran the drives in the past several weeks: Islip, Sachem East, Hauppauge, Central Islip, Sayville, Bayport-Blue Point and West Islip.

Some pairs were also collected by the Town of Islip Youth Bureau, Keep Islip Clean and the office of Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi.

South Shore Community Organization, an Islip-based youth service agency, helped facilitate the drive.

Only one high school participated the first drive three years ago, when 300 pairs were collected. In the second year, 500 were collected and this year 1,400, said Jessica Olsen-Hoek, the center’s program coordinator.

Olsen-Hoek wants to expand into every high school in Islip next year and reach 2,000 pairs.

“There’s a need for all types of clothing in any district,” Olsen-Hoek said. “Those same families who show up to the turkey drives and toy drives during the holidays are also in need of assistance on a regular day.”

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