The Issue: Inability to Afford New Clothing for School
Children from low-income families, including those who are experiencing homelessness, often cannot afford the basic items they need to start each school year, including new clothes that fit. School-age children can outgrow many of their old clothes within a single year. Coming to school with ill-fitting or worn shirts, pants, and sweaters can affect their self-esteem and make it more difficult for them to interact with their peers and focus on learning in the classroom.
The Campaign: Providing Clothes for Low-Income Youth
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Friendly House to provide clothes for children from low-income families. For every $200 raised, Friendly House can provide enough clothing to dress one low-income youth for one school year. Clothes purchased will include essentials such as pants, shirts, socks, and underwear. For an 8-year-old girl, for example, $200 can purchase socks, underwear, two pairs of jeans, two shirts, two sweaters, and one dress with leggings.
Through its Project Return program, Friendly House works with Chapman School students from families who are low-income or experiencing homelessness to ensure their academic and social needs are met. Being able to choose their own clothing for school can give young students a confidence boost and get them excited to go to class.
When the First Presbyterian Church founded Friendly House—then named the Marshall Street Community Center—in 1926, it was dedicated to a spiritual mission. But when the 1930s gave rise to the Great Depression, its focus quickly shifted to social concerns out of a desire to help those affected by the economic catastrophe. Friendly House’s scope and reach continued to expand over the next few decades, and today it enriches the lives of community members from every age group with educational, recreational, and life-sustaining services.
The neighborhood center and social-services agency help prepare children for school through playgroup and preschool programs. Friendly House also provides housing assistance and transportation for seniors and homeless families and brings the community together through martial-arts classes and other workshops.
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