Once again, the Kingsland National Honor Society (NHS) will be holding a clothing drive on Saturday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the community center in downtown Spring Valley.

"This is at least our 15th National Honor Society (NHS) clothing drive. Ann Priebe - nee Hansen - came up with the idea when she was a member of NHS, and we were trying to come up with a unique community service project," said Kingsland NHS advisor Karen Cleveland.

For years, clothing has been generously given by community members, and sorted and set out by NHS members for those who need or want a change of shirts, pants, shoes or overcoats -- household items "just kind of 'appear' occasionally" during the collection, as "we also get bedding, curtains, and table linens," explained Cleveland.

The drive has served numerous families in the Spring Valley area.

"We served only a few in the first year because we didn't know much about advertising, but in these past few years, I'd say 80 to 100 a year," said Cleveland. "It's always nice to get something for nothing - especially when the economy is a little rocky and the prices on pretty much everything seem to be going up. It is available, accessible, and affordable for everyone."

The clothing drive teaches students to serve their community through innovation and creativity. They recognize a need and take steps to meet it. They can see that it doesn't always take money to do something big or worthwhile, said Cleveland.

Furthermore, community members express their appreciation for the hand up in making ends meet. Cleveland stated that more often than not, shoppers are extremely grateful, and actually say so. "Well, we've never, ever had any complaints, only thank yous - and the fairly regular wish that we would do it more than once a year."

As always, donations of "clean, gently-used clothing, shoes and boots" may be gathered and deposited at local churches participating in the project, or brought to the Spring Valley Community Center the evening before the distribution. There will be announcements in the bulletins of those churches willing to help, and there will be flyers posted. People can also bring their donations directly to the community center on Friday, March 22, after school and into the early evening.

The drive's distribution the next day is open to everyone.

"And bring a friend," added Cleveland. "Better yet, bring many friends. If they have never come, I hope they will come to browse. We get an amazing variety of items -- people are very generous. It's an ideal situation. If you happen to get something that doesn't fit or isn't quite what you wanted, give it back to us next year and try again!"

Remaining jodhpurs, long johns and vintage frocks with "va-va-voom" will be taken to The Salvation Army Thrift Store, Goodwill, Savers and Bethesda Upscale Resale in Rochester to be sold to benefit those organizations and stores.

The drive is only one of NHS's projects throughout the school year. The NHS students went trick-or-treating for the local food shelf at Halloween, participated in the Christmas parade, read with the elementary students during Read Across America week, and do peer tutoring.

Cleveland commended her NHS students, saying, "They are genuinely nice people, and they work hard -- at school, at their jobs, at sports and other extracurriculars, and at volunteering. We are lucky to have them in our community."