New ministry helps clothe kids
A local charity started by members of Shiloh United Methodist Church in Wheel collects clothing, shoes and accessories to be given to at-risk kids from throughout Bedford County, such as children who've had to be removed from their home.
Clothe Our Kids of Bedford County was inspired by a program of the same name in Lincoln County, which has assisted over 1,000 children since it opened in 2013. Whitley Kratz happened to meet the founder of that program, and discovered that clothes were being distributed to a multi-county area, with Bedford being one of the neediest counties.
So Kratz got permission from Shiloh UMC to use the back of its annex building as a storage and sorting area, and they began accepting clothing in December. Collection boxes are located at First Community Bank on Elm Street, A Head Of The Timez hair salon, and New Covenant Christian Bookstore.
The ministry would love to have additional collection locations. Financial contributions, to help cover the ministry's overhead expenses or emergency requests for which there's nothing in stock in the appropriate size, can be made to the Clothe Our Kids of Bedford County account at First Community Bank.
The clothes are distributed exclusively by schools or agencies, such as the Department of Children's Services. Clothe Our Kids does not give them directly to the public, and so there's no public access to the facility. The ministry receives a request for clothing in a particular size, and within 24-48 hours of receiving the call the ministry prepares a bag filled with items. The ministry is not told the name of the child to whom the clothes are given, preserving the child's privacy.
The ministry is seeking children's clothing from sizes 3T up to adult. Adult-size clothing should be of a style appropriate for teens; the point is to preserve the dignity and self-respect of the recipient.
Used clothing which is still in good condition, or brand new socks and underwear, are being sought, as well as shoes -- especially athletic shoes -- and outerwear. Organizers say they'd love for churches or Sunday School classes from throughout the county to donate clothing.
For more information, to donate or to host a clothing donation box, call Jeannie Bell, 931-267-6291; Whitley Kratz, 931-703-6263; or Monika Pugh, 931-205-0449. Clothe Our Kids of Bedford County can also be reached at email@example.com and has a Facebook page, facebook.com/clotheourkidsbc.