EUGENE — One of the main philosophies at St. Paul School here is to instill an attitude of service and personal responsibility in each student. This attitude has been showcased for 11 years by the Clemens/Hakala/Posen families.

It all started 11 years ago when then fourth grader Natalie Hakala’s grandmother, Glenna Clemens, died. “My grandmother came to me in a dream shortly after she passed away,” said Natalie. “She told me that people were cold. I woke up the next morning and told my mom that we needed to get all my coats and warm things and give them to the people who were cold.”

With the help of her parents, she put a plan in place that has spawned years of giving. For more than a decade the Clemens family and all of their offshoots have continued the family tradition of hosting a winter clothing drive for the greater Eugene/Springfield area. From mid-October through the end of December, the family collects new and used warm items including socks, coats, scarves, blankets and gloves. The items are then donated to Catholic Community Services and given out free of charge to those in need.

This year Natalie, who’s now 21 and a student at Concordia University, came home from college to help her cousins Charlie (10) and Sam (7) Posen with collecting the donations. This year’s drive garnered more than 250 warm items to be distributed by Catholic Community Services.

With their help, all of the items will be given out free to those in need. School leaders say it’s a “true picture of not only one student taking on the tenets of service and Christ’s calling to help those in need, but an entire family joining forces to create change in a community.”