Clothes for Kids turns cash into clothes for Edmonds-area students

As we roll into summer, Clothes for Kids is celebrating its 27th year of providing clothing for low-income students in the Edmonds School District. The programs of Clothes for Kids benefited more than 6,000 individuals during the 2010-2011 school year, providing 3,621 wardrobes to preschool through 12th-grade students and serving nearly 950 families in our area.

Starting the third week of August, students and their families will be able to secure a referral from their school and come to shop at Clothes For Kids.  The organization reports that they have their largest inventory ever of new and gently used clothing to start back-to-school shopping, thanks to generous donations of new and used clothing from the community and successful foundation support and cash contributions.

To demonstrate, Clothes for Kids tracked the purchases made from a $6,400 gift from the Alderwood Terrace Rotary. Clothes for Kids Program Manager Nancy Laird-Burris and a select group of volunteers have been working with local retailers to purchase clearance items at a 50- to 75-percent discount.  “By purchasing in the spring, we are able to get the best pricing on fall and winter clothing,” Laird-Burris said. “This means we can maximize the donations and turn $6,400 into so much more.”

After adding up all of the receipts, the total retail value of the $6,400 in purchases was greater than $21,000.  The organization purchased more than 1,600 items and had an average savings of more than 65 percent.  On average, Clothes for Kids paid 10 percent of retail on the winter coats that were purchased and paid less than $6.70 for each pair of shoes.

“We are proud to maximize our donors’ investments, allowing students to have more opportunity to receive quality new and used clothing when they come to shop at our store,” the organization said in a news release. “Clothes for Kids thanks our donors and generous volunteers who provide over 8,500 volunteer hours annually help to keep our expenses at a minimum, allowing financial support from the community to directly benefit children in need.”

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