Two weeks ago, I shared our adventure out of state. Last week, I shared how our family ventured out of county. As promised, this week, I would like to share one way our family supports our local community.
For the past twelve years, our children have helped host Kidz Korner clothing exchange in our community. Once a month, we open the doors of our local church pre-school for two hours to parents in need of children’s clothing.
We receive gently used items from our church members, local businesses, and parents. Every Sunday, after we attend Twin Lakes Church, we head over to our collection barrel to retrieve donated clothes, and we store them in the rafters of St. Andrew’s Church closer to town.
It warms my heart to hear Alicia say, “Mom, my dress is too small for me. Let’s give it to another little who can wear it.” Or, when Austin says, “Mom, this doesn’t fit anymore. I want to give it to Kidz Korner.”
In preparation for each event, my husband, the kids and I arrive about an hour early to set up. We position six to seven tables in the center of the room and stack each one with a plastic tub of clothing; each with their own handmade sign indicating the size.
10:00am, the doors open and parents from all over the county arrive. Each one carefully selecting necessary items from the tubs. “Thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it,” one mom recently commented.
I smiled, “You’re most welcome.”
Once the crowd has dispersed, Randy and I return the bins to the attic and collapse the tables to be put back in the closet until next time. Our kids put away our sign and make sure the toys used are put away.
Our children have been blessed with the majority of their clothing being given to them by family and friends, and I’m thrilled we can continue the tradition by giving to other families. I know it’s saved our family hundred if not thousands of dollars in expenses over the years.
My hope is that my children appreciate what they have and remain eager to help others along the way.
How to Start Your Own Clothing Exchange Program
- Obtain Support – It’s important to have a firm backing by an organization such as your church, school, business, etc. They are your supporting foundation. In our case, I approached our church which connected me with our Outreach Pastor who fully supports our cause. In fact, he authorized a 55 gallon collection barrel in our children’s ministry building, posts event information in our Sunday bulletin and he regularly follows up with our progress. Also, our local community church authorized us to use their facility to store and host our event. Both churches’ support is invaluable.
- Determine location, day and time – Consistency is key to success. With Kidz Korner, we’ve met once a month on a Saturday at the same time and same place so that participants know exactly where and when to find us.
- Do it! – With your backing, donations and volunteers in place, go for it!
How do you support your local community? I’d love to hear your story!