Local nonprofit provides outfits to children ahead of new school year

NOW: Local nonprofit provides outfits to children ahead of new school year


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — As parents shop for back-to-school supplies, a Michiana nonprofit wants to provide families with some outfits for the upcoming school year. 

Christ Child Society opens its clothing center’s 2019 distribution season Wednesday. 

Parents and their children can go to the center, located at 308 S. Scott St., and receive brand new clothes that will keep them stylish for the 2019-20 school year. 

“We also want to make your life a little easier by providing something new for your children,” said Christ Child Society co-president Pat Falvey.  

Each child, ages birth to 12, can get a new winter coat, gloves and hat, jeans, shirts, shoes, socks, underwear, a teddy bear, and a book from the center. 

Good quality used clothing is also distributed when available. 

“There’s nothing more exciting, as I said, to see the kids jumping up and down in the shoes that blink,” said Falvey. “Or on a hot day, like we have in August, where they’re putting on their new coat [and] no matter how hot it is, because they have a brand new coat. Just to see the joy and excitement, it makes it all worth it.” 

Families within 130 percent of the poverty level qualify for the clothing. They must receive a referral from a local agency, like Catholic Charities, Goodwill, or the child’s school, before coming to the center. 

“We have so many families in need in our community,” said Falvey. “We want to reach out and make sure that we can do everything that we can for the families. It’s just to help make it a better place.” 

Christ Child Society started its clothing center 72 years ago. It helps more than 3,500 children in need in St. Joseph County each year. 

“I can remember as a kid, on that first day of school, you wanted to look so good,” said Falvey. “To be able to go to school with a brand new pair of shoes, or a new sweatshirt and pair of jeans, it’s very exciting. It helps with their positive self image… I believe it does have a good impact. Also, it helps with the families because with all the school supplies they have to purchase, sometimes they can’t think about clothing.” 

The clothing center will be open every Wednesday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. from now until Christmas. 

The center will also be open on five Sundays and two Tuesday evenings during that time frame. 

To learn more about Christ Child Society of South Bend, click here

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