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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The annual Lexington Rescue Mission Klothes 4 Kids back-to-school clothing drive kicks off this week with record demand for clothing from Fayette County Public Schools leaders.
Donations of new school clothes for students in grades K-12 - and gift cards and cash to purchase new clothes - willbe accepted by the Mission through Friday, Aug.1.
Clothing collected during the drive is distributed to Fayette County Public Schools Family Resource and Youth Services Centers, or FRYSC, based on wish lists they provide.
So far, 26 centers have submitted requests for clothing, including underwear, uniforms, jeans and t-shirts for sizes four through 16. The most frequent request is for pants with elastic or adjustable waistbands.
FRYSC directors reported an increase in the demand for the clothing in the past school year.
"Lifting the burden of financial stressors, such as school clothing, allows students to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially, " said Laura Hartman of Yates Elementary School.
Because Klothes 4 Kids distributes the clothing to the schools and not to the public, the directors are able to pinpoint which students have the greatest need.
"Some of our students get shuffled around and end up having to leave their belongings behind. I was able to give them clothing from our clothing bank," said Tami Raleigh from Leestown Middle School.
Last year, the Mission collected about $8,000 in donations, and the goal is to increase donations to at least $11,000. Several area churches and employers have already committed to help meet the increased demand.
Members at NorthEast Christian Church and employees at Columbia Gas of Kentucky and Gall's plan to
fill several bins with donations through the end of month.
The Mission will hold two donation drop-off events.
On Saturday, July 19, donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Walmart in Hamburg, 2350 Grey Lag Way. On Friday, Aug. 1, donations will be accepted from 7-9 p.m. during the North Limestone Night Market at the Mission thrift store, 720 Bryan Ave.
Tax-deduction receipts will be available at both events.
Donations can also be dropped off at the Mission Outreach Center, 444 Glen Arvin Ave., from 8:30
a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.