Essner hosts jeans drive in hopes of college scholarship

EVART — Margaret Essner hopes to help others while receiving a chance to win a college scholarship through a Jeans for Teens drive.

Jeans for Teens is a drive to help clothe homeless teenagers in the local community by collecting gently used jeans. The drive is sponsored by the Do Something! Organization and partners with the popular teen clothing store, Aeropostale, to provide a $10,000 scholarship.

Essner, a 20-year-old resident of Evart, wants to attend Concordia University in Wisconsin to study to become a missionary. Her hope is to earn her degree and perform mission work overseas in the Middle East. To help achieve the dream, Essner began looking for scholarships, grants and other financial aid options.

"I was looking for different scholarship options to help me go to school this fall and found one through Do Something," she said. "Basically, I'm going to collect as many jeans as I can, take them to the nearest Aeropostale store and they give them to area teen shelters.

"For every two pairs, I receive one point, or one ticket, which goes into a drawing for the scholarship. The more tickets I have in the drawing, the better my chances are."

Essner likes the idea of a drive that targets teenagers.

"I think it's cool that the program is giving jeans out to those who need them," she said. "Jeans can last a long time, but they are expensive and I'm sure there are teens who can't afford new or nice pairs.

"People always give to Goodwill when they have things they don't need anymore and customers can get a good deal there, but someone who doesn't have financial resources won't be able to afford jeans even at a discount."

Jean drive boxes will be located at the Evart Public Library, Evart Free Methodist Church, the Evart Downtown Development Authority office and at Trinity Lutheran Church and school in Reed City. Essner will be collecting gently used jeans through Saturday, Feb. 7.

For more information, visit or call Margaret Essner at (231) 734-6016.