For many people these days, trying to live within their means is a daily struggle and one non-profit organization in town is hosting an annual clothing drive to make that struggle a little bit easier as the 8th annual Klothes for Kids drive kicks off.
From free clothes to school supplies, the drive prepares more than 1800 area kids in need for the new school year. It helps those families who are down on their luck, get back on their feet.
Thursday was registration day for families wanting to participate in the 8th annual Klothes for Kids drive, started through the Panama City Rescue Mission and its director Reverend Billy Fox.
"The kids, no matter what else happened, it is not their fault there are in the trouble that they are in," Fox said.
According to Bay District Schools, more than 1,200 students are classified as homeless. Most of them live in two family homes, but some of them…on the streets.
"Those that are absolutely homeless, when they come in here they are lucky to have what they have on their backs," added Fox.
Which is the story for 6-year old Caleb Johnson, as he, his mom and grandma traveled to Panama City to live with family, but when they got here, their family turned them away.
"It was sort of disappointing because here we took all of our money and spent it on getting here only to find out that we didn't have a place to go because they changed their minds," said Caleb's mother, Jennifer Hilbold.
So getting clothes, shoes and school supplies through Klothes for Kids takes some of that stress away.
"I still try to stay strong and try not to let him see me cry if we are down and having a rough patch," Hilbold added.
Mom, Jessica Hughes is not homeless, but is also going through a rough patch, as she in the predicament either paying her bills…or paying for school uniforms. She says Klothes for Kids solves that problem.
"It takes one thing off my mind, one thing to not stress about anymore is that my son is going to have clothes to go to school with next month because I don't have any school uniforms," Hughes said after registering Thursday.
If you'd like to donate to Klothes for Kids or want to know how to register, click here.