Members of Franklin Elementary PTO put their heads together and came up with a unique way to recycle clothes and help fellow parents clothe their children.
Beth Beers, president of the PTO, said it all started with her son, who noticed last year that some kids in his class didn't have a lot of clothes, and told her he wished he could help.
Beers brought the idea to the PTO meeting. The members embraced the concept of a clothing swap and put plans in motion last spring by sending out letters to parents, suggesting that when they clean out their children's closets, they should save the clothes for the upcoming fall clothing swap. The letter explained that they should give what clothes they can and take what clothes they need.
"Kids grow out of their clothes so quickly and that is why they are usually in such good condition," said Beers. "We thought that a clothing swap would benefit parents, because they could swap out their smaller clothes for new sizes and maybe a new style."
The clothing swap turned into a good community day, with plenty of parents, grandparents and kids looking over the clothing that was neatly folded and displayed on cafeteria tables.
Clothing was sorted by size, making it easy to find a good fit from newborn all the way to adult men and women's sizes.
"We had a tremendous amount of help sorting the clothing," said Beers. "We also had the full support from our principal."
Beers said that mothers have been swapping clothing behind the scenes, but the clothing swap at the school was on a much bigger scale.
Beers said she was thankful for all of the help she got with the event.
"I just want to extend a heart-filled thank you to all who helped with the clothing swap," said Beers. "Whether it was getting together to gather and sort the clothing or at the school folding ... making the tables look inviting to our shoppers. You truly have hearts of gold to put your time and energy into helping the community."
Beers said that the families of Franklin School were generous in their donations of clothing, which was in excellent, hardly-used condition.
"The clothing swap looked like a store," she said. "You never know if people tried it on 100 times or zero times before you buy it. Most of the pieces looked brand new and some still had tags on them."
Beers said that the families that came out truly benefited.
"We heard stories about grandparents taking in grandchildren," said Beers. "The grandparents are on a fixed income and cannot afford to buy them much clothing. Plus, they themselves took clothing. Just with that story and that family, we impacted the lives of seven children and three adults. They took clothing and coats. Not to mention the many other families that came out to shop."
Beers said that everyone should be proud of their effort and the success of the clothing swap.
"Helping the community is what it is all about."
Beers said they have not yet decided whether the swap will be done every year.
Clothing not taken during the event was bundled and sold by the pound, with those funds benefiting the PTO.