Plainfield North High School juniors Crysta and Stephanie French have created a unique way to give new homes to leftover lost and found items that pile up right before summer break in many District 202 schools.
The 16-year-old high school juniors formed the Lost and Found Bound program in 2013. With the help of their mom, Andi, they pick up, sort and donate unclaimed lost and found items from District 202 schools at the end of the school year.
Previously, sorting and donating leftover lost and found items fell to school staff during an already-hectic time of year.
“We wanted to help out,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie and Crysta have picked up items from more than half of the 30 schools in District 202 this year.
The twins and their mom picked up the first load for this past school year at Eagle Pointe Elementary school in late May. The French sisters attended Eagle Pointe Elementary School.
They brought two big, black garbage bags to their garage and pulled out sweaters, gloves, lunchboxes and a few sets of headphones.
Items in good shape are donated to The Salvation Army. Unsalvageable pieces are thrown out.
School administrators quickly embraced the Lost and Found Bound program.
Before the girls started the program, unclaimed items would sit for a long time before being donated, said Eagle Pointe Principal Scott Fink.
“It’s a really great idea and completely satisfied a need,” Fink said.
Crysta and Stephanie enjoy the volunteer work but admitted there are a few downsides to their business – like finding food in lunchboxes, Stephanie said.
Or handling the smelly physical education uniforms, Crysta added.
The teens picked up about 80 garbage bags of leftover items in the last two years, Andi French said.