The other month I took three newly enrolled students to our on-campus clothing center for their clothing fitting. When a student is new to Milton Hershey School, they visit the clothing center for an initial fitting and then return twice a year (fall and spring) to get fitted for new clothes.
When we got there, the sweet ladies at the clothing center took each of the students back and showed them all of the clothes they could choose from. For about an hour, they picked out new pants, tops, socks, shoes, suits, ties, and even bathing suits. It’s like a department store right here on campus, and you wouldn’t believe how quickly the clothing is delivered!
Later that evening, bins and bins of clothes appeared at our student home. Each bin was labeled for a specific student complete with smiley faces, too. In less than one evening our new students went from having the stuff they brought with them to having a whole new wardrobe complete with accessories, too.
As I walked down the hallway that evening, I checked on one of our guys who was unpacking his new clothes. He was new, so I was trying to look for signs of homesickness and checked in to make sure everything was okay.
He was unpacking his new clothes and putting them neatly in his closet. As I stood at his door, I asked him how he was doing. He looked up and replied, “Yeah…I’ve never had this many clothes before.”
It was truly a touching moment. It can be overwhelming, in a good way, to come to Milton Hershey School.
The humble joy this student expressed after his first clothing fitting is the attitude so many of our students share, especially the newest ones.