Depot youth center prepares boxes for winter gear drive in Darien

DARIEN — The spirit of giving has got some members of The Darien Depot going, starting with the upcoming coats, hats and gloves drive.

Members of the youth group’s Volunteer Club got together on Saturday to decorate some boxes that will be used for drop off of items from Monday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 6.

“I just decided I wanted to help out,” said Jillian Thompson, 16, of Darien.

“Volunteering is important to do during the holiday season,” she said. “It makes me feel good to help and I find it important to help out those who are less fortunate.”

“I think it’s important to help people in need, especially in this season,” agreed Annika Huss, 15, who joined eight other volunteers to put wrapping paper, bows, markers and creative ideas to good use decorating the boxes.

“We think that this clothing drive is just a really important thing to do,” said Emily Hopper, 17, “especially with COVID-19 this year.”

“A lot of people aren’t able to purchase clothes or a lot of necessities for winter, so we just think this is really important,” she said.

“And we have a lot to be appreciative of,” Huss said, “all the stuff we have.”

“We’re very lucky in this town,” she said.

While the Depot strives to help those in need of warmth this winter, the community can help the Depot this weekend by stopping by Uncle’s Deli. A portion of the proceeds of sales on Saturday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Nov. 29 at Uncle’s Deli will be donated to the Depot.

The Depot Youth Center offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year for sixth through twelfth grade students in a judgment-free and safe environment. All public, private, or homeschooled teens are invited to attend. In addition to the Student Governing Board, there are seven high school Depot empowerment clubs, four new middle school age Depot programs, several educational programs discussing such topics as vaping, consent, eating disorders, anxiety and substance abuse and numerous Depot activities and events ranging from dances to community projects. In all, The Depot reaches and serves hundreds of kids a year.

For more about Depot programming, visit dariendepot.com.