New clothing helps build kids’ self esteem
Nancy McCluskey-Moore and Camille Esterman
For the past 22 years Kids’ Closet has been providing children with new school clothing to raise their self-esteem and encourage school attendance. Twice each school year, in the fall and spring, thousands of students from nearby rural communities arrive at the Kids’ Closet in Mammoth to choose new clothing. Children eligible to receive free meals at their pre-school or school are referred to the program.
In the 2017-18 school year, 3,121 students in pre-school, elementary and junior high/middle schools received clothing from Kids’ Closet. Students came from three Head Start programs and 17 schools in eight communities. In the fall, each student chooses three pairs of pants, three long-sleeve shirts, a jacket, a knit hat and gloves, a pair of shoes, six pair of socks, six sets of underwear, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and two books.
In the spring, each student selects three pairs of shorts, three short-sleeve shirts, a sweatshirt, a pair of shoes, six pairs of socks, six sets of underwear, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and two books.
A dedicated group of volunteers works hard to assist so many children. All tasks associated with buying, unpacking, tracking, stocking and inventorying the clothing and books, as well as managing finances are performed by volunteers. Whenever the Kids’ Closet is open, a volunteer serves as a student’s personal shopper, helping ensure the selected clothing fits. Volunteers also manage communication with school counselors, ensuring that permission slips are received and every student shopper receives the assistance needed.
Ready, Set, Walk!
On Saturday, October 27 SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) will be hosting its 22nd annual Walkathon. This event helps to raise the funds needed to support a wide range of food, clothing and education programs that benefit youngsters living in nearby communities.
The Walkathon begins at 7:40 a.m. in the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse parking lot (near the bocce ball courts). A Vital Moves fitness instructor will lead all walkers in some warm-up exercises, then a car carrying this year’s Grand Marshall, Anne Everett, will lead everyone to Ridgeview Blvd. to start the walk. After completing the full walk around Ridgeview, or a shorter alternative walk near the fire station, walkers will gather at the clubhouse for a hot breakfast buffet.
To register for the Walkathon, stop by the SBCO office in Suite L in the Minit Market plaza between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The registration fee is $30 per person ($15 for children ages six through 18) and can be paid by check or cash. Or you can register online at the SBCO website, community-outreach.org, using a credit card via PayPal.
If you choose to register online, your tee shirt will be held for pick up at Suite L once registration and payment are received.
The Walkathon tee shirt serves as a registered walker’s “ticket” for the breakfast. Walkers can register the day of the walk, but the choice of tee shirt sizes may be limited.
In addition to registration fees, this year’s event is supported by Long Realty – Golder Ranch Agents, Long Realty Cares Foundation, Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment, Golf Cars of Arizona, First Plaza Storage, Radiology Ltd., Fishkind, Bakewell, Maltzman and Hunter and Associates, Dust Devil Tees, Canyon Community Bank, Apache Gold Casino Resort, Morris Hall, PLLC and Hardin Brothers Automotive, as well as individual sponsors.