Best First Day Clothing Drive Outfits Kids in Need

Drive Runs July 1-26

Help every student dress with confidence this school year through Best First Day, a clothing drive returning this July.

Last year, the drive was coordinated a Leadership Marshfield group which will again partner with Soup or Socks to provide new shoes and clothing to children in need. The team helped to double the number of students that were helped through the program, outfitting 109 last year.

“As a group, our team understood that children and families needing help one year are likely to also need help the next year,” said Kathy Leick, group member. “We had such a positive response from the community (businesses and individuals) in 2018, that we felt the support would be there to continue this effort.”

“Our small space and limited volunteers could never hand the volume of students in the times that the Clothes Closet is open,” said Cheryl Lewis Hartl, Soup or Socks Director. “This way, more students are able to be helped.”

The drive helps low-income families afford new clothes, which are otherwise a lower priority during times of financial hardship.

“When you have a limited budget and have to get your kids ready to go back to school, it can be very stressful for the parents to get everything they need on what they have to spend,” said Lewis Hartl. “This helps to decrease that stress on the household. And really we have the best name, because all any of us want is for everyone to have their Best First Day.”

This year, the goal is to outfit each student in grades 4K-12 who signs up with three pairs of pants, three tops, a sweatshirt, shoes, and a week’s worth of socks and underwear.

Donations of new clothing can be dropped off from July 1-26 at MACCI, Three Oaks Health Service, Pioneer Bank (Marshfield), and Marshfield Area United Way. Most needed items are for grades K-6, which make up 75 percent of those served. Forty children are already signed up for the 2019 drive.

“Our team volunteered last year to help registered families pick out their clothing. It was a special ‘shopping’ experience for them,” said Leick. “We could see the gratitude firsthand, from children and parents alike….One mother emailed SOS afterwards to share that her 6 year old daughter was so excited about her shoes, that she slept with them.”

The clothes will be distributed for registered families on August 14 at the 1st Presbyterian Church gym.

“To give students that little boost to start the year, means everything!” said Lewis Hartl. “The pride and enjoyment in the kids eyes when they get that new pair of shoes or that special shirt is amazing.”