During the Clothe-a-Child event held in November at Walmart in Metairie, volunteers often had to take a break from the marathon gift-wrapping session to tell shoppers what was happening. The volunteers are of course always more than happy to spread the word, as this year’s Clothe-a-Child was able to shop for 277 children!
The annual Council of Catholic Schools Co-op Club (CCSCC) Clothe-a-Child event partners with Catholic Charities to provide gifts of newly purchased clothes for children in need in the metro area (plus diapers for Pregnancy Services). This year, the program helped provide clothing for clients in Catholic Charities’ Head Start programs, Bridges to Self Sufficiency, which assists families in finding transitional housing and Bethlehem Housing, a rapid rehousing program that is designed to help families quickly exit homelessness. Funds for the program are raised at the start of each school year through on-campus fundraisers and special collections at school Masses.
Kristy Kelly, who is one of the co-chairs for Clothe-a-Child, has been volunteering with the program since 2018. She hopes to provide a little happiness, excitement, and confidence for the children, plus have the opportunity to eliminate some stress off the parents during what can be a difficult time of year. Other chair members include Lilly Duronslet, Jennifer O’Neal, and Christy Bonnaffons.
“Our wish is to put smiles on the faces of children and let them know that they are cared for. Our hope is that they will one day remember the generosity shown to them, how it made them feel and pay it forward,” Kristy said.
Since she has been part of Clothe-a-Child, Kristy has seen the numbers of donations fluctuate, but the pandemic has really increased the need for families. Kristy plans to organize another drive this spring.
Kristy expects that by holding Clothe-a-Child in such a public place as Walmart, interest in the program will grow each year.
Kristy added, “These acts of kindness lift people’s spirits and become contagious. It shows social connection, unity, and most of all compassion, which is much needed in our society today.”
For more information on Clothe-a-Child, please visit CCSCC’s Facebook page here.