North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Providence General grants benefit charities

 

Christopher Andersson

Susan Gill, a volunteer for Arlington Kids' Kloset, does some laundry for incoming donations on April 13.

Two local programs which provide clothes to kids in need were the recipient of some of this year's funds given by Providence General Children's Association.

Arlington Kids' Kloset received $5,000 and Marysville Kloz 4 Kidz received $7,000 of the $50,000 total given by the association.

The two local organizations provide families a place to pick out gently used clothes for their children.

"Our mission is to make sure that children have appropriate clothes for when they go to school," said Jan Van Horne, a board member, volunteer and grant writer for Kloz 4 Kidz.

The Arlington Kids' Kloset serves children in three school districts: Arlington, Darrington and Lakewood.

Their goal is to help local students with some of their basic needs.

"If kids are clothed appropriately and are ready for school, they are more ready to learn and more prepared for the classroom," said Kimberly Meno, co-founder and director of the program.

Both local programs are completely run through volunteers.

"One hundred percent of all grants go to program services," said Meno.

The local charities are run through a combination of donations and grant funds, and some of those grant funds go toward buying new clothes.

"We are 75 percent funded by grants, the other 25 percent from community donations," said Meno.

"People do donate clothes, but we don't always have all the correct sizes," said Van Horne. "So we, as an organization, will go out to buy gently used clothes to fill in those gaps."

Shortages in specific sections do happen, said Meno.

"Usually in the little boys section, we don't always get what we would consider 'gently used' so we do purchase new clothing when the need arises," she said.

In addition to shirts and pants, the program tries to provide new socks, shoes and underwear for local kids as well.

"We always provide brand new socks, shoes and underwear to the kids that come in," said Van Horne.

"If we don't have enough of those items, we will be able to go out and buy them as well," she said.

Meno said that Arlington Kids' Kloset also provides hygiene products and some of their grant funds go toward buying a variety of products to keep people clean.

They also try to make sure that the clothes they are providing are items that the kids will like, she said.

"We try hard to make sure our clothes are stylish and trendy," she said.

The two organizations serve hundreds of families each year.

"Typically we average about 1,100 wardrobes a year," said Meno. "A wardrobe basically means clothes for five days a week."

"It takes $20,000 to $22,000 to fund Kloz 4 Kidz each year," said Van Horne.

Meno thanked Providence General Children's Association for their support. "Providence has been a huge supporter," she said.

"They've helped at least for the last seven years," and the Kids' Kloset has only been around 13 years, she said.

The two local organizations applied and were chosen by an allocations committee from the Providence General Children's Association.

"The committee reviewed numerous applications. These two groups fit the mission statement of our group and we were delighted to help," said allocations chair Debbie Finch.

Those funds were the result of proceeds from Providence General's two gift shops and other fundraising efforts.

Meno said that the program is always looking for new volunteers or new families to serve.

"We only serve about half of the population that qualifies in the three districts and we'd love to meet 100 percent of the needs," she said.

For more information about the Arlington Kids' Kloset go to their website at http://www.arlingtonkidskloset.com or call 360-435-4875.

For more information about the Marysville Kloz 4 Kidz program go to their website at http://www.kloz4kidz.org or call 360-658-1021.

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