NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - Schools across the Suncoast will be back in session two weeks from today.
With the new school year, comes long lists of supplies and other expenses. That’s why one North Port organization is making sure families know its doors are open to help - especially for this back to school time.
“The Children’s Closet existed before we had Goodwill or other places where you could buy clothing at an affordable price, so you would think that we wouldn’t be needed anymore, but the need has actually only increased over the years," Elaine Allen-Emrich, a member of North Port Kiwanis Club and volunteer for The Children’s Closet, explained.
From newborns to teenagers, the Children’s Community Clothes Closet has helped thousands of children have new clothes weekly and now, be fully prepared for back to school.
“I get to pick out clothes that fits me," Kaitlyn Miller, a third-grader who shops at The Children’s Closet, expressed.
It’s run by the North Port Kiwanis organization whose mission is to help the children in our community. Every Thursday night from 6-8 p.m and Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon, donations are welcomed and families are encouraged to come shop with their kids.
Every child that comes in will leave with five items – completely free - including uniforms for local schools in all sizes. Plus, the organization also sends donations to schools to make sure every student has what they need.
“It messes up their ability to learn because they didn’t have the basics, so through the Children’s Closet we collect brand new socks and underwear and distribute them to all the schools in North Port," Allen-Emrich said.
Volunteers say kids shouldn’t be paying the price- and that the goal is to help every struggling family in north port have one less thing to worry about.
“Forty-nine percent of kids at schools in North Port are on free or reduced lunch," expressed, "We have to remember that if they aren’t able to afford food what else can these families not afford in North Port?”