A sixteen-year-old Fairhaven teen went above and beyond for her community after collecting over 1,000 articles of clothing for homeless individuals on the SouthCoast.

It may have started as a school project, but after seeing the success of her campaign, Campbell Costa has decided to continue collecting undergarments for the less fortunate.

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“It started off as a civics project in my history class at Fairhaven High School, where it was a way for students to learn how to contribute to their society,” said Costa.

Costa got the initial idea of helping the less fortunate just by taking a look at her surroundings.

“By living near New Bedford and Dartmouth, I have seen many individuals who didn’t have the easy necessities that I did,” she said. “It’s important to me that everyone can have the opportunity of owning clean and simple clothing items.”

Costa could have focused on clothing in general, but instead, she turned her focus to undergarments because they are often overlooked.

“If you really think about it, the amount of socks and undergarments used in a year is a great percentage and certain individuals do not have that luxury of switching out these items yearly,” she said.

While some people may view homeless individuals as "lesser" than others, Costa is quick to remind her community that they are human beings that just need a little help.

“With these (kinds of) donations, we can surely lend a hand,” she said.

With the help of the community and assistance from the Dartmouth Police Department, Costa collected women’s socks, men’s socks, and undergarment items for boys, girls, women, and men. In total, 1,073 items will be donated to The Women's Center of New Bedford and the Dartmouth Community Service Outreach team.

After seeing the difference a simple school project can make, Costa is going to keep the ball rolling well past her project due date.

“If people continue to donate, I will continue to collect and distribute to organizations in need,” she said. “It feels good to see people stand behind something that many decide to look over. I feel not only as a society, but as a world, we have started a new era of helping those who are in need of some help, as they are humans too. It feels really good to know people were helping out of the kindness of their heart and not just for their image.”

When Costa approached the Dartmouth Police Department for assistance in her mission, they didn’t hesitate to help.

“We are so honored to be included in this special project,” said the department. “We couldn’t be more proud of Costa and the effort she put in to improve the quality of life for those in need of a little assistance.”

If you would like to support Campbell Costa’s mission, please drop off new undergarment items for boys, girls, men, and women to the Dartmouth Police Department.

Costa is a shining example of how a small effort can make a gigantic impact.

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