HOUSTON – Wouldn’t it be nice to simply reach for a rack and have a semi-shopping spree at your fingertips? Well, that’s sort of what’s happening in several schools as complete closets are being set up so students in need can shop without paying a dime.
“We’re super picky. We don’t keep anything that we wouldn’t wear,” explains Executive Director of Clothed by Faith Melinda Stephenson.
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The non-profit provides to families in need.
“We provide a week’s worth of gently used clothing and shoes and new underwear and socks to children and adults in need throughout the greater Houston area,” says Stephenson.
Clothed by Faith has several closets set up in a number of school districts so students and even their parents and siblings can go in and shop.
“Each person gets their own bag with their name on it and they’re going to have typically five to ten outfits in that bag. The clothes will be folded together neatly in the bag, then on top of that, we put the shoes actually in a little plastic bag, tie it with a ribbon and that sits on top. They’re actually getting something that almost looks like a gift,” Stephenson smiles.
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“This year, we definitely have seen an increase in clothing needs from our families,” explains Navarro Middle School Wraparound Resource Specialist Steven Deutsch.
So there at Navarro Middle School is a cleared classroom that now looks more like a min- mall.
“We’ve converted it into a resource room/ clothing closet for our students and families,” says Deutsch.
Navarro’s closet provides clothing to the entire community, but for those keeping count of how many kiddos there have been helped this school year alone.
“Just Navarro Middle school? I would say anywhere between 50 to 100 students have been helped since August. Their eyes just light up when they see the clothing,” Deutsch smiles.
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If you’d like to spread some shopping cheer this giving season Clothed By Faith is always accepting donations.
“Wash it, put it in bags, if you can sort it by size, that would be helpful. We’re looking for businesses who want to sponsor the closets,” says Stephenson.
“They just become a different student. They become a different person when they receive those new clothes. They’re happy. They’re grateful,” Deutsch adds.
Clothed by Faith currently has a particular need for jackets for teens and kids.
“I’ve been really proud of the care that we take into assembling everything. So it’s not just, we’re just giving somebody a bunch of clothes, we’re really giving them dignity and hope,” Stephenson says.