Clothe-a-Child Event a Success! by Debbie Peck, Housing Placement and Services Manager, Shelter House
On Saturday, October 17th, The Iowa City Masonic Foundation provided breakfast and new clothes to area children. This was the 14th annual event for this group. They invited three local agencies: DVIP, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Shelter House to submit registrations for children ages 5-12 to participate. The City of Coralville donated a bus and driver to transport the children to Kohl’s and Famous Footwear in Coralville where they were able to shop for new school clothes, shoes and boots. After shopping, the children returned to the Iowa City Masonic Building where they were served a hot breakfast, which was very welcome on such a chilly fall day.
Shelter House staff assisted 14 children to get to the event. It was a very early start to the day, but the children were eager to go on an adventure! They loaded up on the bus with their friends and were off for shopping.
Each child was assigned a volunteer to help them pick out appropriate clothing and shoes for the chilly fall and winter months ahead. Please visit the Shelter House Facebook page to see other pictures from the event. The children’s faces were filled with joy as they picked out things for themselves and as they returned to show their families their new things.
Being able to provide clothing and other things for their children is a struggle for families living in the shelter. Their storage space is limited, their finances are stretched and buying new clothes just doesn’t fit into their budgets. Families are working to gain enough income so they can afford housing and move out of the shelter and beyond homelessness. Events like this that help provide for the daily necessities make life easier for families that are struggling just to survive each day and move towards permanent housing.
Shelter House is very grateful to be included by the Masons in this event. The children and families that they helped will be forever grateful to have warm clothes for the winter and help stretching their budget so they can work towards housing of their own. The generosity of community groups like this make it much easier for individuals and families to move beyond homelessness.