Summer drive pays off in 1,000 uniforms for underprivileged kids

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 5, 2004

In a spacious classroom at the Phoenix School on Plant Street, Selma City schools Truancy Officer Lorraine Capers stands surrounded by mounds of clothing of different sizes, shapes, and colors.

The room resembles a storage closet for a major department store, with hundreds of shirts and pants taking over every available corner and completely covering the carpeted floor.

The large collection of clothes is the result of a summer-long drive to collect school uniforms for underprivileged children.

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Capers said children in all the Selma City schools were asked to donate their used school clothes to help those in need and earn a few extra bonus points as well.

“We started the drive in May with the incentive of giving students extra points for bringing us their old uniforms,” Capers said. “Boxes were placed at each of the schools for students to put the clothes in.”

The Truancy Center worked with the Selma Coalition Offering Peaceable Experiences (SCOPE) and Wallace Community College Selma to collect and prepare the uniforms for distribution.

Selma Steam also donated their services by washing all the donated uniforms.

“I’d say we collected over 1,000 uniforms to give away,” Capers said. “They came from all the schools. Most of the pants are khaki and the shirts are white, which meets the dress code of all the city schools.”

For the past several weeks, Capers and SCOPE member Felecia Pettway have been sorting and folding the uniforms.

“This program gets bigger and bigger every year,” Capers said. “Last year, we gave away all the uniforms in under an hour.”

The uniforms will be distributed to local families on Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. at the Selma Mall.

During this same time, the city school system will also be giving away school supplies during the culmination of its “Pack the Bus” campaign at the Selma Mall.

Families should gather at the main entrance to the mall next to the large school bus to receive their supplies.

“The bus serves as a symbol that it is time to return to school,” said Lynn Henderson, city school’s Public Relations and Attendance Supervisor.

Capers said each family would receive uniforms until they have all been given away.

The Department of Human Resources and C.H.A.S.M. (Creating, Helping, Aiding, Supporting, and Mentoring) Family Resource Center will also be assisting in the distribution the uniforms.

For more information about the uniform distribution, contact Capers at 876-4419.