Student chef learns his art while earning fans and awards

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / December 6, 2000

RESERVE – Twelve-year-old Reonda Clement has come up with a unique way to help out children who are in need.

“A lot of agencies give out clothes and uniforms to poor kids,” said the Leon Godchaux Junior High seventh-grader, “but they don’t give out undergarments to the kids.”So Clement decided she would start a giveaway program called “Undergarments for Tots.”Clement said, “These kids take baths to get clean, but then they have to put on the same underclothes they’ve been wearing for days. This is veryunsanitary.”Clement said she got the idea when she and her grandmother were collecting clothes for the needy and a little girl told Clement that she needed underwear and socks.

Clement has always helped out those in need.

“I like to help people,” she said simply.

Clement helps out her grandmother, Olivia Gordon, give out clothes and feed the hungry.

In school, Clement is busy with the 4-H Club and singing with the choir when she isn’t busy studying to maintain her B average.

She is also very active in Beech Grove Baptist Church, where she sings in the choir and participates in the spiritual dance team.

When Clement graduates from high school she plans to go to college and then on to law school where she said she can help out people even more.

Right now, Clement’s grandmother is footing the bill for the undergarments drive, but Clement is asking the people of the River Parishes to help out.

Donations of money or new undergarments can be made by calling Gordon at 536-3837.

Clement said she knows a lot of kids in need and they are not being heard.

“Kids are embarrassed about asking for these clothes,” said Clement. “That’swhy we need to start this drive to help out.”

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