Mid-Michigan student creates closet for the needy

A mid-Michigan student is stepping up to help her community.
Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 4:07 PM EDT
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BEAL CITY, Mich. (WNEM) - A mid-Michigan student is stepping up to help her community.

Rylee Sisco took the money she won from a statewide essay contest and turned it into Rylee’s Closet, a give and take space for Beal City students.

“Unfortunately, there are quite a few people in our county that are living below the poverty line and so just to be able to have this money is very, very helpful,” Sisco said. “We went on a field trip recently for band and when we came back, we stopped to get food, except there were a couple of kids that couldn’t really afford it, and so they didn’t get food. And that just, it made me very sad, because you know, it’s not their fault.”

The closet was up and running in September of last year, it has everything from clothes and shoes to shampoo and soap; all free.

“While it is confidential, you know, there’s always that ‘oh no, I need help, but I’m really embarrassed about it. But I think we need to push the idea that there’s no shame in getting help, and it’s okay to reach out and be like ‘I’m, I’m struggling, I need, I need something,” Sisco said. “The support from our community is just, it’s overwhelming the amount of people we’ve had, just giving to us, and everything like that. And we’re actually getting our room now. So, we’ll have a ‘Rylee’s Room,’ maybe we can upgrade the title.”

Sisco recently won $5,000 from United Way’s ‘Pitch-er this’ contest and put all of it toward her closet and a care fund at the school.

“It’s super important, because it feels like we’re going to the next step, and now kids won’t be, won’t have to like go to this little, little corner in this room in a random hallway. Like, it’s right there and they can go find it and it’s, it’s super convenient,” Sisco said.

When Sisco, a junior, graduates, student council will take over the closet, ensuring students for years to come have a place to get the necessities.

If you’d like to financially support Rylee’s closet, you can give cash or checks made out to Beal City Public Schools or Beal City High School.

If you have items to donate, you can take them to the high school or ship them there as well.