Clothe-A-Child: A holiday tradition spanning nearly three decades

Community News

Jim and Laurie Wilkins help a young girl pick out new shoes during the Clothe-A-Child event.
Jim and Laurie Wilkins help a young girl pick out new shoes during the Clothe-A-Child event.

More than 30 children were treated to an extra special morning of holiday shopping as part of the Clothe-A-Child program’s legacy event in Findlay, Ohio, on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Volunteers from Marathon Petroleum spent time helping underprivileged youth in Hancock County pick out new clothes from the local Kohl’s department store. The Clothe-A-Child of Ohio program was started by a group of Marathon employees in 1992 to help children who needed warm clothes for winter. Since then, more than 1,200 children have participated in this unique holiday tradition. This year’s event helped provide nearly $7,000 worth of clothing for 32 deserving children.

“Based on the many hugs and smiles I witnessed on Saturday, which marked our organization’s 29th anniversary, it was very evident the entire team made a positive difference in the lives of these children,” said Larry Summers, President & Director of Clothe-A-Child, Ohio, Inc. “Thank you so much to everyone for your willingness to volunteer this year despite the numerous COVID-19 protocols that continue to be in place. Without your assistance, this event simply does not happen.”

The holiday-themed event included a bus trip, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and ended with a warm breakfast courtesy of a local McDonald’s restaurant.

"Based on the many hugs and smiles I witnessed ... it was very evident the entire team made a positive difference in the lives of these children.”

“It’s such a special tradition that our employees and our partners look forward to every year,” said Jim Wilkins, Senior Vice President of Health, Environment, Safety and Security at Marathon Petroleum.  “But most importantly, we return year after year for these kids, to do what we can to make this time of year a bit more special for them and their families.”

During the first two weeks of December alone, through efforts like the Clothe-A-Child event, countless volunteers and funds provided by area schools, Marathon employees, and other members of the community, the Clothe-A-Child Ohio program will be able to clothe an additional 350 children this holiday season. Since its inception, the Clothe-A-Child organization has clothed close to 6,000 children and young adults.

The program’s 30th anniversary event is already on the calendar for Dec. 3, 2022.