Tucked away in the back of the kindergarten classrooms at Summerfield Elementary is a small closet filled with clothes and undergarments.
Next to it, a sign. It reads “Quinn’s Closet” in bright letters.
A photo of little Quinn Schiro, wearing a red onesie and sporting pigtails, is taped on it.
It was the first time Quinn’s mother, Collen Schiro, saw the closet since starting the project this year.
“Holidays, birthdays and especially Christmas are really tough days in our house,” said Schiro. “The beginning of the school year was hard, as well, and we just wanted to do something in her memory.”
Quinn was born in 2013 with a rare brain disease and passed away at the age of 2.
“She was never able to walk, talk or crawl,” said Schiro. “She basically only met the milestone of a 3 to 4 month old baby.”
Quinn would have been 5 this year, starting kindergarten.
“It’s hard to hear all the kids that she grew up with, their parents, were school shopping and it was just another reminder that we weren’t doing that stuff with her,” said Schiro. “So, we decided to turn such a hard time into a happy time.”
That’s when Schiro reached out to Shelly Gura, the assistant principal at Summerfield, to ask what kindergarteners in her school needed. Whatever they decided would be in honor of Quinn.
“When I reached out to our kindergarten team, they said the thing they needed the most was clothes for when their kids have accidents,” said Gura.
And that’s how “Quinn’s Closet” was started. Inside you can find everything from shorts, skirts, shoes, jackets along with undergarments.
All the items were donated. The Schiro’s pitched in along with teachers and nurses at the school.
The closet has come in handy.
Teachers now have a fresh pair of clothes for students, in case of an emergency, without having to bother their parents.
“Some of the clothing items have come back washed and some we have allowed students to keep,” said Gura. “They’ve used it a lot for spills, so they’re able to come in and grab an item of clothing.”
It was a team effort to keep Quinn’s memory alive and raise awareness about rare diseases.
If you would like to donate items to Quinn’s Closet, you can drop them off at Summerfield Elementary.
11990 Big Bend Road
Riverview, FL 33579
Telephone: (813) 671-5115
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