School uniform drive underway for DHR ‘store’

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

Children in foster care with the Pike County Department of Human Resources will soon have a store where they can purchase school uniforms with bonus bucks they earn doing good deeds.

The idea for the school uniform store originated with Margaret Ingram, social worker with the Pike County DHR.

“Often foster care families struggle with finances that include the purchasing of school uniforms,” Ingram said. “I tossed around the idea of having a store at DHR where foster children could shop for their school uniforms.”

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The first need was for a store.

“There was a vacant room at DHR that could be used,” Ingram said. “Then, we had to find a way to stock the store. Children quickly outgrow their school uniforms and the uniforms are usually given to thrift stores or discarded. But, if DHR sponsored a school uniform drive and it was successful, we could stock the store.”

Ingram put legs to the idea and the DHR’s school uniform drive is underway.

“Rack and hangers have been donated and the room is ready,” Ingram said. “So, we are in the process of collecting school uniforms – shirts, pants, pleated skirts, belts, shoes and everything else that goes with a uniform.”

Ingram said underwear and socks are needed and appreciated but must be new.

“We also need jackets,” she said. “The jackets do not have to be in school colors so we can accept any kind of jacket.

“Spring is a good time to clean out closets and we would really appreciate donations of those school uniforms with long sleeve shirts, sweaters and any jackets.”

Ingram said all sizes of khaki pants are needed.

“A lot of ladies wear khakis and men, too,” she said. “We want to have sizes to fit ages kindergarten through twelfth grade, so we would appreciated adult sizes, too.”

The donated items will be the stock for the DHR school uniform store and the store “customers” will be awarded bonus bucks to be used in the store.

“When a child comes into care, we will give him or her ‘money’ to be used in the store,” Ingram said. “We will also award the bucks to foster children for the good deeds that they do in helping out at DHR and at their foster home.

“The children will take pride in having money to shop in the store and the shop will also help ease the financial burden on our foster parents. All donations will be greatly appreciated.”

Drop off points for school uniforms are DHR, Charles Henderson High School, Charles Henderson Middle School, Troy Elementary School, Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center and Troy City Hall.