ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — What was once an empty classroom is now a vital resource for Gibbs High School students in need. The 'Gibbs Grab N Go Boutique' allows students and their families to pick up basic hygiene products and clothes free of charge.
“I started coming to this boutique a while back, back when my family was homeless," student Jozlyn Mosley said.
For students like Mosley, Gibbs Grab N Go provides more than a shopping experience.
“Wearing the same outfit over and over again; it's embarrassing," Mosley said. "Not having hygiene stuff is embarrassing. So having this is nice. I was homeless at the time. Didn't have almost any clothes and at the point where I'd have to start reusing outfits."
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Resources like clothes and deodorant, even toothpaste are available through the boutique.
“There's a great need in our community," volunteer Rose Smith Hayes said." We have quite a degree of homeless children in schools, especially this one on 16th St. and we want to be able to motivate them and just be there for them."
School resource officer (SRO), Grace Albritton, is a Gibbs High School alum and is thankful she can volunteer at a place that has given her so much.
“I didn't grow up with much, so I know how it feels," SRO Albritton said. "To be able to give back to the school that I graduated from, of course, is amazing because I feel like now I'm here. I'm in a place where I can help."
What started off as a small table in 2020 at the school, has now blossomed into a one-stop shop dedicated to helping students and their families put clothes on their backs free of charge.
“Knowing what it's like, where I was positioned, where my family was at, it's invaluable to have clothes like this for children," Mosley said. “It means a lot. I think, my actual favorite pair of pants, khaki church pants, I wear them all the time. I got them from here years ago."
Gibbs Grab N Go Boutique is in need of clothing, toiletry items and prom outfits, along with many more items. If you'd like to donate you can drop items off at the front desk of Gibbs High School.