Kids’ Closet provides school attire to local children

A young student proudly showed off her Kid’s Closet clothing selections.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

For the past 23 years Kids’ Closet has been providing children with new school clothing to raise their self-esteem and encourage school attendance. Twice each school year, in the fall and spring, thousands of students from rural nearby communities arrive at the Kids’ Closet in Mammoth to choose new clothing. Children eligible to receive free meals at their pre-school or school are referred to the program.

In the 2018-19 school year, 2,983 students in pre-school, elementary and junior high/middle schools received clothing from Kids’ Closet. Students came from Head Start programs and 14 schools in nine communities. In the fall, each student chooses three pair of pants, three long-sleeve shirts, a jacket, a knit hat and gloves, a pair of shoes, six pair of socks, six pair of underpants, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and two books.

In the spring, each student selects three pair of shorts, three short-sleeve shirts, a sweatshirt, a pairs of shoes, six pair of socks, six pair underpants, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and two books.

A dedicated group of volunteers works hard to assist so many children. All tasks associated with buying, unpacking, tracking, stocking and inventorying the clothing and books, as well as managing finances are performed by volunteers. Whenever the Kids’ Closet is open, a volunteer serves as a student’s “personal shopper,” helping ensure the selected clothing fits. Volunteers also manage communication with school counselors, ensuring that permission slips are received and every student “shopper” receives the assistance needed.

If you would like to volunteer your time and talent to Kids’ Closet, please contact Melanie Stout at [email protected] or 406-261-9850 for more information.