Project Fresh Clothes helps provide fresh start
FOR THE GAZETTE
STEVENS POINT — A local group of volunteers continues to serve local kids in need through Project Fresh Clothes, an event designed to give students a fresh start in the new school year.
“It’s a community mission, but St. Paul’s United Methodist Church has been running the program and this is our 17th year,” said Cathy Martin, one of the leaders of this project.
“It was started by a high school girl for a Girls Scout project. She had it in her basement and it grew so much they moved to the armory. When we took over the program, we would set up a ‘store’ at the Junior High the same day that Project Fresh Start was giving out the school supplies. They would come into the gym and collect articles of clothing,” Martin added.
Five years ago the group switched to vouchers instead of stocking clothes for the event.
“We give each child who qualifies for Project Fresh Start (which is through free and reduced lunch) a clothing voucher for $20. The vouchers are good to purchase articles of clothing at Call it New, Nice as New, Other Mothers, and the Community Thrift Store of Portage County,” Martin said.
The students can choose something new for them to start the school year.
The group is in need of donations from the community to support this mission for families. People can sponsor one child, two, three or four children. They would appreciate any donation and 100 percent of every dollar goes to support the clothing vouchers. The group serves over 1,000 children.
“I have witnessed in my many years of teaching children who are embarrassed about their clothes in the fall when school starts,” Martin recalls. “They grow so much over the summer and new clothing is great for their self-confidence. It helps parents immensely with finances to get three or four children ready for school.”
Donations may be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Stevens Point, WI 54481. Please write Project Fresh Clothes in your check’s memo line.
For more information, call 715-344-3557 or email [email protected].