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Clay Anti-Drug Coalition Helping Kids Needing Clothes

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Clay Anti-Drug Coalition Helping Kids Needing Clothes

The Clay County Anti-Drug Coalition has started a new program to provide low income families with a way to access free clothing.

Prevention Coordinator Kody Thompson said the Sunshine Closet allows local families in need to get free children’s clothing with sizes ranging from newborn up to medium adult for teens. Thompson said she started the program herself because she saw a severe lack of access to children’s clothes in the county.

“We don’t even have thrift stores here,” Thompson said. “There’s no place, I think the Family Dollar has a little bit of clothing, but I’m not sure how much. So, in our entire county, people just don’t have access to kid’s clothing. Furthermore, if they do, you know, they’ve got to travel outside of the county, and transportation can be an issue, especially for these low-income families and families in need.”

Thompson said the closet also provides free children’s toys and supplies for expecting mothers. She said the community support for the program has been greater than she expected.

“We’ve had donations pouring in,” Thompson said. “I expected, as far as sustainability goes, I expected to get donations here and there and not have to do a whole lot to fill the gap, but we’ve just really had a tremendous amount of donations, and so we’re extremely grateful for that.”

Thompson said the closet has been open for less than two months.

“I think we’ve served between fifteen and twenty families so far, but we are quickly growing and getting – you know, getting the word out there,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the project is funded by the Drug-Endangered Children Grant the county received just under a year ago.

“Under that grant we’ve been able to kind of reach the communities and help them in ways that we haven’t be able to under our federal and state funding that we get at the coalition,” Thompson said.

Thompson said they are planning an event in the next month to expand the closet and encourage people to get comfortable with using the service.

“The DEC approach – Drug-Endangered Children approach – is just to relieve some of that burden, reduce the stigma, and help them in any way that we can,” Thompson said.

Thompson said people interested in accessing the closet can visit the coalition’s office, contact Thompson directly, or reach out to the coalition on Facebook.


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