Some of the local school districts began school today, and the local Salvation Army in Portsmouth, gave out a helping hand to some of those families who were unable to purchase clothing for their children to start school.
They were able to host four families with school clothing assistance. According to Emergency Assistance Provider for the Salvation Army Jane Jarrells, they had received a few calls about assistance for some clothing to start the school year.
Jarrells said she spoke with Captain Misty and they set a limit, because it was only a few weeks before the start of school. “We determined the number of children and families we were going to be able to help. As calls came in, we added them to the list, until we reached the limit.”
she continued, “Basically, we ended up serving four families from three different school districts, but what happened was that several of our families that signed up were in transition and usually in crisis, so over half of them didn’t get back to us. So what we decided to do was, we were able to assist the families we did have, with more clothing, instead of just limit the number of clothing articles we were able to give them.”
Jarrells said the Salvation Army does give out vouchers, “I knew that with the back to school program, I wanted to check with the Captain as far as that particular need, because when we do the clothing vouchers, we do it on a case by case situation, and I knew that once I started, I would get calls. She and I discussed the need and determined that because we were so close to the start of the school year, we set a cap at 20 kids and of those, two or three of the families I had made arrangements with did not come back and participate with the program. It was sort of like a word of mouth thing, that they called in and asked if we were able to include them in the program. We were a day from the program and I was unable to get back in touch with some of these families, that’s when I asked the captain if we go ahead and maybe just give the ones that did, give them a little bit more, because of the families that did not get back in touch with me.”
Jarrells said they would like to do something like this again next year. The captains are new to the area, they came in August to the area, she’s new to the programs. This is something she said they hope to continue and next year they want to have kind of a jump start on it.
The mclothing event was August 14th. “We asked the families to come all at one time, so we could serve them better, because when you are dealing with vouchers at the Thrift store, it can get a little tedious, so we asked them all to come at the same time.” She said the store was not closed when they began their shopping, but by the time they were finished, they were closed and they were able to finish with them better. Jarrells said they had volunteers that helped the families and the captain’s daughter was home at the time and she was able to help them as well.
Jarrells said they tried to make sure the kids had an outfit for everyday of a week and all of them were very appreciative. Many smiles were seen from the students. “We were planning to do more families, but it worked out for those who did participate, in that they got to get some more needed clothing.”
Jarrells also wanted to mention that they were thankful too for those who donate to the Salvation Army to even make these things possible.
The old saying, someone’s so called trash, can be a treasure for someone else, is so true here, because the community donates, instead of throwing things away, several children can go to school with ‘new’ clothing, just like everyone else.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928