When board members for the Greater Marco Family YMCA caught wind that a need for cold-weather clothes caused a student to stay home from school one day, and that an even greater number didn’t even have long pants, they stepped up and started the Y Klothes for Kids program.
Originated by board member Ashley Lupo, the program started with a few monetary donations to purchase new clothing for needy kids at Marco Island Charter Middle School. The YMCA decided to expand the program so that the entire community could get involved.
“For me, it speaks volumes for the kind of people we have on the Y board. It’s part of our mission,” said CEO Cindy Love. “On Marco Island, they think everyone has everything. It’s a great way for the community to assist the children.”
Inside the Y entryway, three collection boxes sit under a giving tree, including its newest box for gently used winter clothing: long pants, long shirts, sweaters and jackets. The program also continues to take donations to purchase new clothing. Students at the Charter school have to purchase their own physical education outfits, for example, and some students do not have the money to do so.
The program will continue year-round to also help with other essential clothing needs.
To provide a middle school student with the basic necessities cost about $100 per child.
“Let’s help support the kids of Marco Island,” incoming YMCA board president Linda Keutmann said.
Clothing isn’t the only collection box under the YMCA’s giving tree. The YMCA is also helping collect donations for Laces for Love and blankets for St. Matthew’s House. The tree itself is a kid-friendly way to donate to the YMCA. Instead of collecting toys, which is done all ready by other organizations widely throughout the community, the YMCA decided to just collect money to help kids with scholarships whose parents couldn’t afford YMCA programs.
“I think it’s a great way for us to spread the holiday spirit on Marco Island,” Keutmann added.
To find out more about donating to the YMCA visit them at 101 Sand Hill Street, Marco Island, FL, or call (239) 394-3144.