Bring in Your Jeans!


Gabriela Alvarez and Andrea Avery pose with their Teens for Jeans shirts on the first day of the jeans drive.

Stephani Spindel, Editor-in-Chief

Every year ODA seniors Gabriella Alvarez and Andrea Avery take part in a drive to collect jeans for the homeless through an organization called Teens For Jeans. Teens For Jeans is a national campaign created by the organization in 2007. This drive was created to collect jeans for homeless teens in the United States. There are about 1.7 million people under the age of 18 who are homeless. “When I heard about this campaign, I wanted to take part and help those who are in need.”

In January of 2011, Gaby Alvarez introduced Teens For Jeans to The Out-of- Door Academy for the first time. Her and Andrea Avery alone collected 144 pairs of jeans in 2011. And in 2012, they decided to continue the program, with a twist, instead of having just the ODA community participate, they opened the drive up to the entire Lake Wood Ranch community, collecting a total of 150 pairs of jeans.

This year, they are taking the project one step forward, opening the drive up to all members of the Sarasota County community. They strategically placed a total of ten boxes around Sarasota, including the Upper and Lower ODA campuses, the Spinfit Indoor Cycling & TRX Studio, Sarasota Memorial Hospital and boxes for every high school grade.

“By expanding the project, my goal this year is to collect over 200 pairs of jeans so that more than 200 homeless people can be helped,” said Alvarez when asked what her future plans were.

Gabriella added that she would also like to continue the project, even after she graduates this year, by involving underclassmen and encouraging them to take part in the charity.

This year Teens For Jeans will take place from January 18 – February 1. As always, the event will be a competition among the high school classes in exchange for Thunder Cup points. Additionally, this year, students will receive a school wide “jeans day” to raise awareness of the homeless population in the United States and congratulate the students, if they are able to donate over 200 pairs of jeans.

Currently, Teens for Jeans is an unofficial school club, with 9 members. But Alvarez hopes that in the coming years underclassmen, such as Jackie Olson, freshmen, or Sara Gregory, junior, will continue the trend and grow the project in order to continue to help the homeless.

Support Alvarez’s project by bringing in your old jeans to the front office of either the Upper or Lower School’s campus, and earn a “jeans day” for all ODA upper school students!