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Fill The Need - Bruin Boutique Seeks Donations
English language arts teacher Rosalind Taulbee had an idea for a new club at Riverbank High School.

But this one is more about everyone else than the members of the club.

Bruin Boutique Club: bbc is a newly developed club that started in late November to help students that need clothing, coats, and shoes.

As the weather started getting colder, Taulbee said, she and other teachers started noticing that there were several kids that did not have jackets or warm clothing and sometimes their shoes had holes in the soles. Riverbank High School Principal Christine Facella would often check with the teachers to see what they could gather for the students that were in need. During the search for gently worn clothing, the idea came to Taulbee to make it a routine part of the school and the 'bbc' was born.

"I realized that we needed a way to get them clothes," said Taulbee.

To begin the process Taulbee polled the students to see how interested they would be in participating in the club. The reaction from the students was very positive, she said, and several students signed a petition to form the club. Taulbee said since at the high school they are considered the Bruin family, she thought naming it the Bruin Boutique Club: bbc would be fitting.

People have started donating and they are assembling quite a variety of men's clothing. Some of the items that they have received are a number of men's shirts, long and short sleeve, large and extra-large. Currently, they do not have any shoes, but they are accepting clothing donations for males and females. The club is in its beginning stages so their stockpile is small but Taulbee said she is hopeful it will grow to help meet the need on campus.

The plan is to increase the inventory and maybe move to a larger facility where they can create an atmosphere of an actual clothing boutique. Taulbee would ultimately like to get some clothing racks to display the clothes and get them out of the boxes that they are presently in. She may even collaborate with another teacher and see if they can make the racks themselves. The boutique will eventually be administered by volunteers comprised of both students and teachers. There will be certain hours that the boutique will be open and for a limited number of days.

Right now, getting the clothes and shoes in so they are there for those in need is key. The staffing and schematics of the boutique will come later.

"The point is for our Bruin family to help each other and it's not for any charge, it's free," said Taulbee. "That is what we are trying to do ... have nice gently worn clothing for anybody who needs it."

For now, Taulbee will continue to keep the clothing in boxes, the items inventoried on a list, and continue accepting donations. The clothing is stored in room 104 at Riverbank High School. For more information or to make a donation to the Bruin Boutique Club, contact Taulbee at the school, (209) 869-1891.