August Kids gears up for back to school clothing outreach

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Heather Bell

RADFORD –  Each year for more than two decades, the Radford Clothing Bank’s August Kids program sends Radford school students back to school with new clothing to start the year.

When the program began, dedicated volunteers, mainly then-program director Fran Scartelli, would travel far and wide finding deals on bulk clothing and setting up a mock store for children and teens to “shop” in and pick out clothes.  The program has now switched to a voucher program,simplifying the process and handing out a voucher for parents and children to purchase the clothing on their own.

Now the Radford Clothing Bank is gearing up for this year’s August Kids event, set for Tuesday, July 30. “This year’s event will be in the Central United Methodist Church Family Life building,” says program volunteer Martha Kincaid. “August Kids provides vouchers for income qualifying Radford City residents  to purchase back-to-school clothes at the Fairlawn Wal-Mart.  Each qualifying child, kindergarten through twelfth grade, will receive a $70 voucher to  purchase clothes, shoes, or underclothes.”

Last year 276 Radford students were served by the program.  Kincaid explained the process for applying is changing this year.  Letters will not be mailed out.  Anyone wishing to participate will need to bring all of the following verification methods in order to participate and receive his or her voucher at the July 30 event:

Photo ID of applicant

Proof of Radford address (by bringing June or July utility bill)

Social Security Card or Birth Certificate for each child in the home

SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, or 4 weeks of current pay stubs for each employed family member.

Community members who would like to contribute to this worthwhile project can mail donations to Radford Clothing Bank, PO Box 994, Radford, VA  24143.

The times for voucher distribution will be 10 a.m. – noon and 4 – 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30.