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Teachers sorority donates underwear, other items to schools

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FRE Underwear drive teachers and items.jpg

Sue Wilt, left, Cathy Ross, Cindy Tranmer and Nancy Morris, who are part of the Lambda Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international teachers sorority, stand in front of items for local schools. Items include underwear, socks and sweatpants for students from preschool through fourth grade in Fremont.

Nancy Morris and Cindy Tranmer had things well in hand.

For the most part.

The two retired schoolteachers went to a local store to buy underwear and other items for students at two elementary schools.

When they learned no carts were available, the women simply gathered packages of the items they needed and tried to carry them to the checkout stand.

“We had about $250 worth of underwear that we were carrying around,” Morris said.

Some of the many slick, plastic-covered packages slipped from their hands.

But other shoppers helped them pick up the packages so they could pay for them.

Days later, Morris chuckled about their cart-less shopping. At the same time, the Fremont woman is pleased with how a locally based group is helping schoolkids.

Morris is president of the Lambda Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international teachers sorority. Many Lambda Chapter members are in their 70s and 80s. Besides the immediate area, some are from Blair.

The chapter helps students in various ways.

Each year, it provides a scholarship to a Midland University student who wants to become an educator.

The 18-member chapter awarded a $1,000 scholarship for a student in December.

Last fall, it also donated hygiene and snack items to the Hub at Fremont High School, which provides a variety of items for students in need.

“We like to donate items to different facilities,” Morris said.

After helping older students, the group decided to help elementary schoolchildren from preschool through fourth grade.

That’s how the “Undercover Undies” project came about.

The retired teachers know that when children go outside for recess, they play in the snow and get wet.

“They come in soaking wet and we have to send them to the office for dry clothes,” she said.

Sometimes, young students have an accident, wetting or soiling their underwear and even outer clothing like sweat pants.

They then need a change of clothes.

With such thoughts in mind, Morris applied for a grant for seed money (starting funds) from Thrivent, a charitable organization. Members and friends donated to the project, too.

Altogether, the group raised almost $500 for the project. The teachers opted to donate items for boys and girls at Washington, Grant, Linden and Milliken Park elementary schools.

Teachers volunteered to call the schools and find out what they needed.

Some needed diapers, because they include a preschool. Socks, underwear and sweatpants were needed as well. Items ranged from smaller to larger sizes.

The women went in pairs to purchase items.

They figured they could donate about $125 worth of items to each of the four elementary schools.

Wearing masks, group members dropped off their first batch of items to a school last week.

Morris said school staffers appreciated the donations.

“They were delighted,” she said.

This is the first time the group has embarked on this type of project.

Morris said she can apply for another Thrivent grant this year.

“We might try it (the project) for some other schools, whether they’re here in Fremont or in Blair,” she said. “We’re hoping to do that, because it was received so well.”

And two of the sorority sisters now have experience in cart-less shopping.


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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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