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Children’s Town ’N’ Country Clothing Charity Seeking Assistance and Volunteers

Started by a former teacher who saw children in her classroom everyday who needed clothing, the non-profit organization operates stores in St. Petersburg and Clearwater. There children on free and reduced lunch can “shop” for clothes twice a year. In 2017 they gave more than 10,000 outfits to children. Later this month they will be opening their first Hillsborough County store in the Town ’n’ Country area.

The new location is open at 5011-H W. Hillsborough Avenue Tampa, Florida 33634.

“More than 40 percent of the 104,000 students in Pinellas County are on the free or reduced lunch program,” said Clothes To Kid Board Member Amanda Saft. “The number is even higher in Hillsborough County – 60 percent of 200,000 children. We felt like there was a need in this county and that the area was not being served.”

Saft said that Clothes To Kids is different from similar organizations that give children clothing because at Clothes To Kids, children get to choose the clothes they want in a retail-like atmosphere. “Our stores look like new stores. The children are treated like shoppers. We feel like this empowers the children because they get to choose the clothes they want.”

Saft said Clothes To Kids is hoping people in the Westchase and Northwest areas will help the organization help area children. They need clothing donations and volunteers to help make the store a success. Clothes To Kids is looking for organizations or individuals who would like to hold clothing drives for them as well as volunteers to work in the store. Clothing needs to be clean and in good condition. Students from pre-K through 12th grade shop at the store so Clothes To Kids accepts clothing in kids’ sizes 4–16, women’s 0–22 and men’s 18–44 as well as shoes, bras, belts, purses, hats, jewelry, backpacks and new underwear and socks.

Volunteers are also needed to help sort and stock clothing and to work in the store checking shoppers in and helping them shop for outfits.

“The schools identify the students who are on free and reduced lunch,” said Saft. “They are invited to come to the store twice a year, where they can pick out five tops, four bottoms, shoes, underwear, socks, a coat in season and a dress for the girls. We are a very community-based organization.”

Groups or individuals who would like to help Clothes To Kids can find more information online at ClothesToKids.org or by calling the Tampa location at (813) 616-6430.

How Can You Help?

Clothes to Kids accepts new and used clothing in good condition and cash donations.

• The cost for Clothes To Kids to provide a week's wardrobe of school clothing to an eligible student is only $50.
• 87 percent of expenditures go directly to the program; for every $1 you donate, $.87 goes directly to clothing a child!
• More than 73 percent of Clothes to Kids funding comes from individuals like you.
• Clothes To Kids is 100 percent privately funded by individuals in our community, as well as businesses, organizations and private foundations.
• All donations are tax-deductible.

By Marcy Sanford

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