Brooklyn students give back

With 15 bags of clothes, Sheepshead Bay students are helping the less fortunate.

A class of eighth-graders at J.H.S. 14 Shell Bank has spent months collecting apparel to benefit a local homeless shelter.

Next month, they’ll donate the clothing to children living at the Bay Family Center, located at Emmons Avenue and Coyle Street.

“The kids don’t have anything,” said Shell Bank student Chardaney Newland, 14. “I feel good about giving stuff to them because if somebody never had anything, they finally have a chance to get it. I want to help.”

The Shell Bank class consists of 12 students — Newland, Jessica Spencer, Joovens Paul, Ejohnna Wooten, Kevin Saunders, Alex Diaz, Jadine Knight, Evelyne Andre, Oshien Douglas, Ahmed Fadel and John Clarke.

The children in the special education class are overcoming obstacles but are still eager to improve the lives of others.

“When I see kids on the street, it makes me feel like I want to help,” said Spencer, 13. Fittingly, she plans to become a teacher.

The students decided to hold a toy drive for the Bay Family Center after watching the movie “Pay It Forward,” in which characters are encouraged to help those in need.

The teens collected and distributed toys to the Center’s kids in time for the holidays. One student even dressed up like Santa Claus to hand out the goodies.

“I like making young kids happy. When I saw that they were very happy, I was happy with myself,” said Douglas, 16.

At the toy drive, the Shell Bank students were shocked to see many of the Center’s residents in summer clothing — T-shirts and shorts. They immediately posted signs in the junior high school, located at 2424 Batchelder Street, requesting donations of sweaters and warm clothing.

“There was a young girl wearing shorts, slippers and a tank top. She came out in the freezing cold to greet us because she was just so happy that we brought toys,” Paul, 14, recalled. “So, we thought we should do something, put some clothes on their backs, make them warm inside and out.”

By helping others, Shell Bank’s students are helping themselves.

“It makes me feel very special because I’ve done something for others,” Spencer said. “It makes me feel good to see the joy and the happiness in the kids’ faces.”

Shell Bank is currently collecting canned goods to benefit Haiti. To donate, contact the school at 718-743-0220.