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SHS FCCLA Collects TEE’s in a Unique “Recycle” Program-Promoting Suicide Awareness and Prevention

“Give Us the Shirt Off You Back! Goal-271` Tee Shirts –Last Year 271 Individuals Died from Suicide In Nebraska

Julya Metschke, SHS Sophomore member of the Family Community Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) Seward Chapter, volunteered to serve as the chair for the local SHS Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week and decided to collect 271 new and “like new” tee shirts for those in need or homeless-hoping to recycle the many shirts “just laying around.”  Last year 271 individuals died in Nebraska as a result of suicide.   The local collection sites were at the Seward Civic Center-616 Bradford Avenue, by the front door, at St. John Lutheran School in Seward and in the SHS lobby, 532 Northern Hgts.  

The FCCLA Committee is focusing on the issue of Teen Suicide and this as way to assist the homeless as well.   “We felt that most young adults have a drawer full of tee shirts that they may have collected through the years and never wear” said Julya Metschke-FCCLA Project Chair.  “I wanted the students to actually see the impact of what 271 lives looked like, so I decided to reserve 271 seats with donated tees, to create the image.  The 271 tee shirts will be donated to the Living Word Mission in York.”

“We always are given tee shirts at the many events and activities we attend and yet often find ourselves wearing our favorite tee shirts over and over,” commented Julya Metschke.  “This is a visual image of 271 lives lost to suicide and it really is a great way to help other lives at the same time, as we are recycling these tees for those who need them!”  

Julya placed posters throughout the school promoting suicide awareness and prevention, set up a display with free informational materials and placed announcements in the bulletin on suicide awareness and prevention.  She also distributed materials to each teacher on prevention and awareness of suicide.  She also coordinated a special “Teen Suicide Awareness and Prevention” Panel in the Community at the Seward Civic Center.  The FCCLA members collected new and like new tees in all sizes.  

Our suicide awareness and prevention materials were donated by Boys Town and Bryn Hospital with the help of Dr. David Miers-Bryan Hospital, an SHS Graduate. She plans to have a booth at the spring Seward Memorial Hospital annual Heath and Wellness Fair at the Ag Pavilion promoting Suicide Awareness and Prevention.  

 Julya plans to personally deliver the tees before the start of the next school term on behalf of Seward High, the SHS FCCLA Chapter, St. John Lutheran School and the Seward Community.  “We have been given so much in our lives, it is nice to be able to share some things with others, and a good way to start the new year.” Stated Julya Metschke. “The community has been very supportive of this project and we appreciate all the cooperation and support of the many who have helped with this awareness and prevention project.”

Photo:  SHS FCCLA Sophmore, Julya Metschke collected 271 new and “like new” tee shirts for those in need to recycle and be used by the homeless.  She combined this recycling project- helping the homeless project, with her suicide awareness and prevention effort.    Last year, 271 people died from suicide in Nebraska and she created a visual message, showing the impact and loss of these lives, placing a tee shirt in each theater chair in the SHS new theater. The shirts will be donated to the Living Word City Mission in York.