More than 700 Bay County students will receive a new school uniform for the upcoming school year. The Pathways Christian Recovery Ministries' Ninth Annual Klothes for Kids program is providing gently used, school approved clothing for families who may not be able to afford some.
Hundreds of families have registered for the program, and there's time and space for more. Program volunteers hope to send about 1,400 students back to school in style.
"We like to set it up just as if they were going to one of the major department stores. They get to pick what's on the rack and try them on to see that they fit, try on the shoes," said Reverend Billy Fox, the Panama City Rescue Mission's Executive Director.
The clothing drive will be held on August 16th and 17th at the Bay County Fairgrounds. Each family who registers will get an appointment time to choose about two uniform outfits and two weekend, play outfits for each student.
However, the program relies on the community's help. Volunteers are organizing, folding, and packing more and more clothes each day but have only received about half of what they hope to provide.
They need more of nearly every item on the Bay District Schools' Dress Code, including every color polo or collared shirt and jeans, khakis, and blue pants. Volunteers also said they need clothes for larger, teenage boys. Larger tennis shoes are always good, too.
Donations can be dropped off at the Panama City Rescue Mission and The Bargain Center both off East 6th Street near Downtown Panama City.
If you would like to take advantage of the program, the deadline to register for an appointment is August 13th. You can register by calling (850) 481-1093 or visit the Rescue Mission in Panama City. For more information, check out the Klothes for Kids website.