SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Kids are on their way back to school and for some parents, buying clothes is a budget-buster. Thanks to Mothers Helping Mothers, parents are finding the support they need.
“There’s a huge need in the community and these parents line up sometime as early as 6 o’clock in the morning,” said Cheri Devries, board chairman of Mothers Helping Mothers.
They are lining up to get free clothing from the local non-profit. “If you can imagine sitting outside for three hours waiting to get your school clothes and your backpack, that’s how much need there is,” explained Devries.
The organization offers free clothes to families on a tight budget in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Miya Gustave is thankful for the service. “Just to be able to lift a burden off your shoulders and know that you can come here and get some assistance. It’s very awesome.”
Volunteer Rebecca Barancik and her family have donated more than $300,000 to Mothers Helping Mothers.
“What we love about Mothers Helping Mothers is that we can see items going directly from the person who donates it to the people who need it,” said Barancik. “So, it’s very rewarding to see that direct service.”
Mothers Helping Mothers began 30 years ago after two moms helped a homeless woman.
“When they were finished helping this woman, which only took a week, they basically had more stuff. And they said ‘Well, there must be more families or moms out there’. So, Mothers Helping Mothers was created,” said Devries.
Donations of gently-used clothing can uplift families, raising confidence and boosting self-esteem at the start of the new school year.
“If we can give a kid a new backpack, and we can give them some great shoes, and some uniforms, and some clothes that they are proud of. I think that they will do better in school. I think that matters,” said Devries.
They are hoping to expand later this year and always looking for more volunteers.