Junior League Child Clothing Project Provides Clothing to Over 300 Students

Every October the Junior League of the Emerald Coast invites children from Okaloosa and Walton County elementary schools to participate in its signature community event, The Child Clothing Project.  The children who attend this event are all on the Free and Reduced Meal Program and are hand chosen by the schools Guidance Counselor.

The purpose of this event is to provide these children with new, appropriate clothing for school, and the winter months ahead, and to assist their families by lifting some of the financial burden that comes with purchasing new clothing.

The Child Clothing Project was started in 1978 with a feasibility study and then a year later the first 36 children from Okaloosa County Schools were clothed.

“This year, we were able to invite 325 children to the Destin Target to participate in the Child Clothing Project,” said Carly Harmer, President, Junior League of the Emerald Coast.  “These children arrived on buses from their various schools and were greeted by volunteers who took them around the store shopping.”

Each child who attended left with a shopping bag full of brand new items including: shoes, socks, underwear, jeans, athletic pants, two shirts, a jacket, and a new book with their name written inside.  When the children finished shopping they headed outside where they had lunch, did arts and crafts, and visited with a number of vendors from local businesses.

“It typically costs $100.00 per child to provide the list of items above,” said Harmer.  “The women who make up our active membership all sponsor one child as do numerous individuals and businesses throughout the community.  It is our hope that we can continue to clothe more children each year.  We are also currently researching ways to enhance and deepen the impact the Child Clothing Project has on our community.”

The Leadership students from Choctawhatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach High School, and Niceville High School volunteered their time to help the Junior League with the students.

For more information about the Child Clothing Project, visit http://www.jlec.org/?nd=child_clothing.

To view a complete photo gallery, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.