by Morgan Moore
This past Thursday (8/23) was St. Anthony Foundation’s First Annual Back to School Family Clothing Service Special Event! And special it was! Over the past year, we have seen a dramatic and alarming increase in the number of families accessing services at the Free Clothing Program. The Back to School event served sixty three families including one hundred and fifty nine children! The event was by appointment only and each scheduled guest was able to get two full sets of clothing for each child as well as pick up a set for themselves and their partner. Thanks to an amazing group of donors, volunteers and supporters, we were able to provide new clothing, shoes, accessories, baby blankets, toys and backpacks full of binders, notebooks, crayons, pens, and glue sticks.
Leading up to the event we relied heavily on the help from enthusiastic volunteers to get all of the clothing sorted and hung. We aim to provide our guest’s with the highest quality clothing possible so we hand selected Back to School appropriate digs for ages ranging from one to eighteen. Thank you to Adobe, Azusa, and an incredible individual volunteer named Nico (hey!) for getting our back of house in order! Thank you to Old Navy, Live Nation, Alemany Blvd Walgreens, KNBR and KFOG Radio for their amazing donations of clothing and school supplies, without which this day would not have been possible.
Day of, we saw incredible energy from staff and volunteers both in our front of house and in back. Up front, we aim to create a dignified shopping experience so volunteers and staff were there to help guest’s find everything they needed, keep The Store looking sparkling clean, and even enjoy some play time with the adorable kids. Thank you to Schoolbags for Kids, a program that provides backpacks and school supplies to children in need around the world, for not only providing new backpacks for our guests but for volunteering up front the entire day! A special thank you to our St Anthony’s Stitchers who provided their adorable baby blankets and knits and showed up to see service in action!
So many children will be showing up to class in their stylish new clothing and accessories. A true mark of success was when a little girl (pictured above) opened her backpack to see it filled with a binder, notebook and other treats. She looked up at her momma and burst into tears. There were many moments like this one, all serving to emphasize why we do the work we do and how important it is for those we do it for. We continue to serve families M, T, W and F so if you should have a donation of new or like new clothing that you think could benefit our younger guests, please visit us at 101 8th St. To schedule a pick up for five bags or more please contact me at (415) 592-2826.
Thank you again to everyone that helped to make this event a success!