MIAMI — A winter coat drive is underway here as members of the Miami High School student council seek donations to help those in need.

As it gets colder, more and more people have no access to warm clothing, especially outer wear, an issue the MHS students feel is worth fighting for.

Lauren Kirk, MHS student council vice president, said, “Most of us in student council are fortunate enough to be able to purchase warm clothes and be comfortable in the winter season, but not everyone in our community shares this privilege.

“It’s important for us to make sure that we try to solve those problems for people who may not be able to solve them themselves.”

In its second year at MHS, items being requested for the drive include winter coats, mittens, gloves, socks, scarves, jackets, hoodies and other warm clothing items.

“Our society often disregards the hierarchy of needs, which states that before people can strive for esteem and self-realization (doing well in school, improving the community, etc.), a person’s physical needs have to be met and they have to feel safe,” said Corbin Walls, state vice president of the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils. “Personally, I want nothing more than to see this community flourish and that begins with aiding individuals in meeting those physical needs and feeling safe. That is what this project is helping accomplish.”

All donations will be distributed throughout the community in order to maximize their impact. The students will be giving some of the items to those at their school, churches and the food pantry located at NEO Realty on Steve Owens Boulevard.

“I feel as if I am helping mold the future for the better,” said student council secretary Emie Haile. “As I help serve those around me, not only do I improve the attitudes of people I am directly helping, but I am also setting an example for younger kids to do the same.”

Those with items to donate can either take them to the counselor’s office at MHS or to the Miami Public Schools’ central office on Main Street downtown. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 18.

For more information, call MHS at 918-919-2935, extension 2, to speak to Tracy Longcrier, a student council sponsor.