‘UniCycle’ program helps local students in need.

UniCycle Logo-03

Too many times we often overlook some of the easiest ways to help others. For many of us, those outgrown school uniforms hanging in our children’s closet are taking up space and collecting dust.  Meanwhile, there are kids in our local community desperately needing clothes that are within Metro’s Standard School Attire (SSA) guidelines. You may be waiting for the next local consignment sale, or trying to find the time to load the clothes and drive them to the local used clothing store. UniCycle wants you to know about another option: Send them to your children’s school and drop them off in the UniCycle Collection Basket! 

WHAT IS UniCycle?

UniCycle is a school uniform recycling program that orchestrates the collection and redistribution of outgrown, gently-used clothing to provide Standard School Attire (SSA) to Metro Nashville Public School students who need it.  Volunteers collect school uniform clothing in participating schools, and then redistribute it through a partnership with the Homeless Education Resource Office for families in transition (HERO Program) and by implementing in-school UniCycle Exchange programs. 

Most schools in the Metro Nashville Public School system require Standard School Attire in the form of collared, solid-color shirts and khaki, navy blue or black pants, shorts, skirts or dresses.


Students bring their outgrown SSA items to school or a partner collection location and the clothing is corralled in a designated UniCycle laundry basket. Volunteers collect the basket when full and clothes are carefully screened, cleaned, organized and then sent home  to students in need via the program already in place through the Homeless Education Resource Office or directly to students in schools with an internal UniCycle Exchange program. Efficient collection and redistribution at the school level keeps things quicker and easier for parents and students on both ends of the recycle stream.





  • Connect on Facebook
  • Have your church/group host an SSA Clothing drive!
  • Local Businesses: Donate money, shelving, Rubbermaid bins, laundry baskets, new socks and underwear, and SSA items in all sizes.
  • Become a parent volunteer! Volunteer at a school, organize a neighborhood or civic group clothing drive, or help UniCycle discover new ways to get the community involved!
  • UniCycle is currently seeking a parent volunteer at Bellevue Middle School.


  • UniCycle has distributed close to 1,500 articles of clothing within the Metro school system
  • The Hillwood Cluster is the only high school cluster in Nashville with full participation in UniCycle from all feeder schools.


By serving as both collection and redistribution agency and keeping drop off and pick up points primarily in schools, UniCycle takes what is essentially a chore for everyone – cleaning out outgrown school clothing and doing something useful with it on one side, and seeking out and purchasing appropriate school clothing for constantly growing students on a tight budget on the other– and essentially eliminates those items from the to-do lists of everyone.  In addition to offering a hand to parents and well-vetted clothing options to students who may have very limited choices, providing SSA to students in need supports the efforts of Nashville’s HERO Program.  The program operates within the public school system and oversees school enrollment, school clothing, supplies and other school issues for students who are homeless. Recycling SSA for some of these students keeps more money and time in the HERO budget to tackle the program’s critical mission.


Jami Oakley