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Sue Bush
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Clothing "Free-For-All" Sept. 16

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Monday, September 04, 2006

A second "Kid's Clothing Free-For-All" will be held in Pownal for town residents on Sept. 16, said event organizer Clara Howard.
Pownal, Vt. - An August clothing giveaway open to all town families was well attended and due to a significant number of inquiries, a second "Kids Clothing Free-For-All" is scheduled for Sept. 16, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pownal Valley Volunteer Fire Department firehouse on Route 7.

Organizer Clara Howard reminded town residents that clothing donations are not required in order to select clothing for their children.

"There was some confusion with the last [clothing giveaway]," she said. "I found out that some people thought they had to give clothing to get clothing. No one has to bring any clothing donations to get clothes. People can just come and get clothes."

Donations are accepted, however, and clothing contributions have been generous, she said. Howard noted that the upcoming event will include donated, second-hand items such as jeans, tops, khakis, and other apparel in good condition, some new clothing items, and a selection of children's second-hand cold-weather coats and jackets.

During the August "free-for-all", about a dozen long tables were covered with clothing that ranged from infants and toddler sizes to young men's and women's sizes, and the size selection is expected to be similar during the upcoming event.

Rising vehicle, home heating fuel, and other living costs are impacting working families, who, in many instances, find themselves ineligible for state and federal assistance programs. The "free-for-all" is not based on income eligibility and there are no forms, sign-in sheets or other data collection strategies.

The clothing project was designed to offer assistance to all town families who need to clothe their children, Howard said.

The project is meant to be a community based community benefit, she said.

"I think that's one reason why people like it," she said.

Those who would like to donate clothing may contact Howard at 802-823-5467 to make drop-off arrangements. Donated items should not be stained, ripped, or otherwise unwearable. Second-hand underwear is not accepted.

A third "free-for-all" is being planned for later during the fall. That event will focus on clothing such as winter coats, hats, mittens, warm pajamas, sweaters, and similar items as well as weatherization equipment such as residential window anti-draft kits.

Howard is seeking donations of those items as well.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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