Leadership students provide costumes for children who can’t afford them, but more help is needed | NevadaAppeal.com

Leadership students provide costumes for children who can’t afford them, but more help is needed

by F.T. Norton
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

Pioneer High School teacher Charity Graff gasped when Ariana and Alexis Martinez walked into Graff’s classroom wearing costumes donated to the school for a costume drive Monday.

“Oh,” she cooed. “That’s makes me want to cry.”

Ariana, 6, will be a fly.

Though she came in looking for a Hannah Montana costume, Eyeore made Alexis, 9, smile widely.

Brother Austin, 6, found a ninja costume.

Only Daniel, 11, walked out empty handed.

He had hoped to find something along the lines of a mask from the movie “Scream,” he said. But there were none to be found. Everything else he tried on was too small.

Daniel was promised if he comes back on Wednesday, he will have a costume.

Graff and her Leadership Group students put on a costume drive so that children in Carson City wouldn’t have to go without a costume.

Yet the community response was less than ideal.

There were 45 calls from parents looking for help costuming their little ones, but only 26 costumes made their way to the classroom.

No businesses in town got on board. The box stores all said they need 30 days advance notice. Privately owned shops and thrift stores in Carson City turned the group down, except for Friends in Service Helping, which was especially generous, Graff said.

“They told us to take what we needed,” she said.

The students made off with six costumes.

But other than that, the response was disheartening.

“I’m disappointed,” said Graff. “We tried everything we could think of.”

Monday was the first day of the giveaway, 21 children came in and got costumes in the first hour. Twenty-five more are still awaiting.

With the tables bare and no one in the classroom, Graff and her students, Ignacio Cervantes, Steven Bass, Emily Daniels and Amanda Watson, brainstormed how to find more costumes.

Graff couldn’t hide her dismay.

“I’m really, really disappointed,” the teacher said.

“We did have a lot of kids though today,” said Steven, trying to make his teacher feel better.

But Graff furrowed her brow.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do for Wednesday,” she said.

Donations of costumes for ages 3 through 12 are still needed to outfit the kids expected later this week.

They can be dropped at the school campus, 225 East Park St. during school hours. The giveaway goes from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information contact Graff at 283-1312.

Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.