TAMPA, Fla. - Children are constantly growing out of clothes and many families on a tight budget often struggle to pay for new wardrobes, but a Bay Area organization is helping ease the burden.
Jennifer Turkel is glad to volunteer at Clothes To Kids, a non-profit organization that provides free clothing to children in need.
"I like seeing these children have clothes, be able to go to school with new uniforms, have what they need that they may not be able to get if we weren't here," Turkel shared.
Michelle Haughton has two children with special needs, and for parents like her, the non-profit is a big help.
"Very, very thankful. Without them, I don't know where I would have been. A 100 percent blessing. I didn't even know they had a place like this," she said.
The place exists because two friends came together in 2002 to buy a jacket for a student who didn't have one.
"They started talking a few weeks later and realized that the need was just tremendous in our counties and so right there at the kitchen table, they decided to start Clothes to Kids," explained Jennifer Jacobs, executive director Clothes To Kids.
The need hasn't stopped yet.
"Now, it's turned into more than 175,000 wardrobes to children in the last 20 years," Jacobs added.
To help keep up with the demand, the non-profit just recently opened a warehouse.
"We are actively organizing that and reaching out to the community to say, ‘Hey, help us fill our storage house,’" Jacobs stated.
They need more clothes because children get a free week's worth of school clothes.
"That includes a pair of shoes, five new pairs of socks, five new pairs of underwear, four bottoms, five tops, dresses, and a jacket in season," said Jacobs.
Providing a service for kids in need.
"Thank goodness Clothes To Kids exists because I don't know what the kids would do in our community that need clothes would do without it," Jacobs stated.
Clothes to Kids not only helps students look good, but helps their self-esteem as well. So, that they can have a successful school year.
LINK: For more information about Clothes to Kids, visit www.ClothesToKids.org.