Local store helping with Back to School uniform needs

By Josh Beavers

A local non-profit will hold a giveaway Saturday to help economically disadvantaged students with their school uniform needs.

Mercy’s Closet, located at 609 Sibley Road, will host its third annual Back to School event. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“All uniforms will be free to anyone who shows up – while supplies last,” said Diana Sanders, owner of Mercy’s Closet. “We have both new and gently used uniforms. No qualifying necessary.”

Sanders said anyone who shows up can get free uniforms.

“We don’t really limit quantity but do ask that people only take what they absolutely need so there will be enough for everyone who needs uniforms,” she said. “We will show a movie and have popcorn throughout the day outside for kids.”

Sizes range from toddler up to adult 3XL. Last year, Mercy’s Closet gave away nearly 700 uniform pieces.

“This giveaway is hugely important because there is tremendous need in our area,” Sanders told The Journal via Facebook interview. “We have had calls all summer from people asking when our giveaway will be.”

Mercy’s Closet’s mission statement is “helping underprivileged people climb out of the enslavement of poverty, with grace and dignity, one piece of clothing at a time.” Sanders said, “the goal of our uniform giveaway is to help children not feel like I did as a child.” She said she was teased about the clothes she wore because her family didn’t have much money.

“The dollar store tennis shoes I got in August (that were torn up by September) were the same shoes I was wearing in May, no matter how much my feet grew or how bad of shape they were in,” she said. “Not an exaggeration. I don’t want kids to feel like I felt.”