Keeping the Holiday Spirit Year-Round


For two caseworkers who accompanied children from Hope House and Open Arms as they traveled to JC Penney’s® in December, Clothe-A-Child has new meaning.  This was the first time they witnessed the bus full of excited children firsthand.

Hope House sent a total of 20 children, including 11 from the shelter and another nine from the independence program.  Case manager Nikki Bowen says “It was such an awesome event and really neat to see how excited the kids were.  The volunteers shopping with them did a really great job. Going to McDonald’s was also really big for some of these kids.  And for the parents, who worry about how they’re going to provide clothes and toys for their kids, it was also a really nice experience.”

Both agencies sing the praises of Larry Summers (Credit Card) and his band of merry elves, for all they do. But Clothe-A-Child today is far bigger than just one day in December, it provides clothing children to year round through two separate programs.

At the end of that December day, the cash registers had rung up about $8,500 to clothe 42 children.  Penney’s provides a special early opening, deep discounts, and notably takes $500 off the final bill.  Each child leaves with two complete outfits, shoes and/or boots, a new coat and much more.

Then it’s on to breakfast donated by McDonald’s and then off to the Lodge at Hancock County’s Riverbend Park, where the arrival of Santa is the highlight of an energy-filled Christmas party.

Updated: Tuesday, June 2 2009