ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Just off 34th street in South St. Petersburg, you'll find a non-profit making a big difference in kids lives.
"If we didn't have the community, the St. Petersburg community, we wouldn't be able to exist, because we rely solely on the community to do what we do best in our community, which is to provide clothes. And if our community weren't donating the financial resources and clothes to us, we wouldn't be able to turn it back and put it back into the community. And so we know that when the community brings in donations, we're able to either that day or that next day, that donation is going back out into the community," explains Jennifer Jacobs, Executive Director of Clothes to Kids.
Clothes to Kids is a non-profit that provides a week's worth of clothes to kids free of charge. While it may seem like a small gesture, it makes a big difference in kids' lives.
Jacobs reflects on a recent moment, "So a special moment has to be the brothers that came in, we found out their school social worker had shared with us that they were swapping clothes, that one brother would wear them on Tuesday and Thursday, and the other brother would wear them on Monday and Wednesday."
"So they were taller than me and needed big shoes and, you know, large shirts, and they came in and they got a week's worth of school clothes that they picked out that they didn't have to share. And you know, I'm a little partial to boys, because I have boys of my own. But when they come in and their shoulders over, and they don't think that they're going to find like a good pair of shoes that fit them...they know that they're going to leave with a bag full of clothes. That's when it makes the biggest difference and see those young men leaving the store with their shoulders held high."
Clothes instill confidence in kids. They've distributed more than 168,000 wardrobes to kids in Tampa Bay.
"If you want to come and volunteer we're a great fun place to volunteer and we need monetary support we rely 100% on community donations with clothes and monetary support. And the way to help is clean out your closets we know the closer they are bring them to us we need all shapes and sizes. Pre-K through 12th grade," explains Jacobs.
Jacobs says right now they need shoes, little boy pants and shorts.
If you or someone you know has a child who needs clothes:
"If you're a mom, a caretaker, a dad or social worker or guidance counselor, licensed mental health counselor and you have a child or are serving a child that is a need and they need clothes — call on Clothes to Kids. We can help them. There is absolutely no sense a kid in need of clothes in Pinellas or Hillsborough county that needs clothes not being able to get them because that's why we exist," explains Jacobs.
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