BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — With the new school year on the horizon, so does back-to-school shopping. But with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, 75% of parents are stressed about paying for the items they need while their children return to school.
Financial stress is up 12% from a year ago, according to a LendingTree survey. This is one of the reasons Heaven’s Helpers Closet (701) in Bismarck is looking for more children’s clothing donations.
The clothes on the shelves of Heaven’s Helpers Closet (701) are special to many members of the community.
“You’ll bring in little kids and they’ll see a jersey with their favorite character or their favorite sports team and they’ll be so excited they can pick up something they really like,” said Heaven’s Helpers volunteer Lizzy Wood. Closet (701).
The free-to-shop store is not a thrift store. As the clothes are dropped off, each donor stays for a short time. Donors and volunteers sort and clean the clothes before donating them to a new home.
“A lot of our shoppers wear this stuff right away, which is why it’s so cool that our donors are willing to do it for us. Come in, sign up for a time and put their stuff on hangers. We say always come hang out with us, what we mean, put your stuff on a hanger with us. Help us process it. Get it sized, so we can easily give it to the front,” said Kim Wood, volunteer at Heaven’s Helpers Closet (701).
Although it may seem like there is a lot of clothing available, there is more need in the community, especially for children’s clothing.
“We don’t have any stock on these. We have shelves for them, but usually as soon as you bring those clothes in, they’re hung up and immediately taken out. And some of those clothes will leave the same day they are brought in,” Lizzy Wood said.
The closet is in particular need of children’s clothes from size 2T to 14/16, new underwear and socks.
“Even at the end of July, we saw people coming to pick up children’s clothes and we are not always able to meet all their needs. So it’s very difficult for us volunteers who just want to serve and help them find what they need,” said Kim Wood.
Thanks to these donations and volunteers, many more children will start school wearing something they love.
Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Heaven’s Helpers Closet (701) is holding a children’s clothing drive at its location in Bismarck.
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