Hometown Heroes: 'Clothes to Kids' provides wardrobes for kids in need

The children at Clothes to Kids in St. Petersburg fill their bag of clothes with a smile. The non-profit organization provides new, and gently-used clothing to low-income or in-crisis, school-aged kids.


"Some of them- they wouldn't be able to clothe their children if it wasn't for Clothes To Kids," said Jennifer Jacobs, Development Director at Clothes To Kids.


Stevie McDonell is getting ready for his junior year at Boca Ciega High School, and couldn't be happier with the selection.


"When I came in here I thought it was going to be like kid things; no Nikes or Polos. But when I walked in here I saw some Nikes over there, Polos over here. I was really surprised by that," said Stevie.


Everything at Clothes to Kids is free. Each child gets to choose five tops, five bottoms, five pairs of socks, five pairs of underwear, a pair of shoes, a jacket when it's in season and accessories like book bags and jewelry, when they're available. And they get to shop twice a year.


"We have a variety of things to choose. It's just an amazing shop," said Stevie.


None of it would be possible without the help of volunteers, who put in a total 16,000 hours of work each week.


"Our volunteers sort, they tag, they make sure all of the clothes we are putting on our racks are something we’d put on our children. We have a rule here: If we wouldn't put it on our child, then it doesn't go out on the floor," said Jennifer.


Everything on the racks comes from donations from the community. From kindergarten to high school, no size is too big or too small.


"We depend on the community support. So get in your closet, get in your drawers, clean them out and bring them here. We need your kid's clothes; we need your clothes. Bring them to us because kids come in all shapes and sizes, and we need clothes in all shapes and sizes," said Jennifer.


The volunteers at Clothes to Kids do everything they can to live by their motto: Clothing kids and changing lives, one shopping bag at a time.


So far, they've been a success. Since they opened their first store in 2013, Clothes to Kids has provided more than 100,000 wardrobes to students throughout Pinellas County. 

Click here to visit the Clothes to Kids website for more information.