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Finding Help Getting School Clothing and Supplies

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Getting your kids the clothing and supplies they need each year before school starts can be expensive. For the family on a very tight budget it can be overwhelming. This is a guide about finding help getting school clothing and supplies.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
July 24, 2010

I am a single father with 2 kids, a boy 15 and a girl 14. They will be starting school this next mouth and I do not have the money to buy them school clothes. Do you know of anything I could do. God bless.

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By Jonatan from from Fayette, MO

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 1, 20080 found this helpful
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If there is a food pantry that you know of or are affiliated with, they might know of a place that has clothing at no cost. I know of two pantries in my vicinity that does this. It's yours to take.

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful
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My daughter uses the KMart layaway quite often. A lot of the Salvation Army Thrift Stores give out vouchers for free clothing. Where I live there are some churches that have clothing give aways every now and then.

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July 25, 20100 found this helpful
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I see that you have already gotten several great replies. I agree with the answer to ask at local churches, even if you don't attend. Several of the churches in our area help out children during school time, and many of the residents donate money, clothes, school supplies to them, even if we don't attend those churches. Don't feel ashamed. Times are bad now for many more people than ever before! God Bless you and your kids, and may things improve for you soon!

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July 25, 20100 found this helpful
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Check for a Freecycle group in your area (http://www.freecycle.org/). Also, try second-hand stores (Once Upon a Child, Plato's Closet), Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and garage sales (many garage sales are listed in local news papers, local news papers' web sites, or even Craig's List).

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July 25, 20100 found this helpful
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Call your local Adult and Family Services, or whatever it's called in your state and they will know all resources in your area. Since you have the web, also check your local newspaper if on line; they usually run an article on resources for kids clothes and school supplies right before school starts. Better yet, call the living section of your local biggest newspaper, and ask if they are running such an article, and ask to talk to person writing it and ask them for good resources. Best of luck. Been there.

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July 25, 20100 found this helpful
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Check out craigslist. I am a single mom myself, so i know the feeling! Good luck!

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September 10, 20100 found this helpful
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I understand exactly how you feel because I raised 4 kids as a single parent. I remember one year not having enough money to buy them Christmas gifts but somehow we made it. What I learned to do was do my shopping at Thrift stores. You will be amazed at what you can find there. I still buy my clothes there. But I would caution you on one thing, be prepared to become addicted to thrift stores. Once you realize what you can find there for so little you will never want to go anywhere else.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 17, 2011

I am a mother of a 16 year daughter. She is in need of new school clothes. We live on an income of $585 per month for the three of us. This includes my husband, also. He is unable to work because he has prostate cancer and I am unable to work due to seizures plus heart problems. She wears a size 16 in women's jeans and extra-large in shirts. We barely can pay our bills.

Please does anyone have any advise? I am open to suggestions. Thank you for your time. I am sorry to ask this, but how can I afford school clothes if I do not have enough money to pay my electric and phone bill which I am late on.

Yours truly.

By lyonsoldtown

Answers

July 18, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Is your daughter able to work? She could get a part time job and buy her own clothes for school. She doesn't have to buy brand new clothes, she could learn to shop at thrift stores, or at the clearance racks at retail stores like Wal-Mart.

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Also here is a link to a site that has a list of programs to help people living on a limited income:
http://www.need  ce_programs.html

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July 18, 20110 found this helpful
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Do you have a Freecycle.org in your area? If you can, join it and when you have complied with the join up rules, ask for the clothes.

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July 18, 20110 found this helpful
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May I suggest that you get yourself to the nearest Department of Children and Families. Sounds to me like you may be entitled to financial help with several things including food stamps and perhaps even some emergency cash. Medicaid also comes to mind that will help with hospital, doctors, as well as any prescriptions needed.

Depending on where you live, and the safety, your 16 year old daughter might could find a part-time job that will help her with clothing. At her age, and depending on the hours she'd be working, safety is the main factor in my opinion. Her safety getting to and coming home from work.

If you have family, you might consider appealing to them for a little help with clothing for your daughter. I wish you the best, and I don't think you're going to be all by yourselves in this situation. Many people are facing the exact same state in the very near future unless things change quickly.

Pookarina

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful
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You are probably eligible for some help on your utility bills. I know that where I live, people can get help through Catholic Charities. You can probably call your utility company for direction on this. Also, do you belong to a church congregation? If so, please talk to your minister about your needs; he should be able to give you some help and direction. And definitely contact the Salvation Army; they are all about helping people when they are in need.

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful
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Most schools have a clothing bank, a lot of churches do also. Check to see if your area has a Community Action Program (CAP) They can give you names and addresses of places that can help with utilities, food and clothing.

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August 1, 20110 found this helpful
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Have you ever heard of Craigslist.org you can post a ad on that sight that u r looking for clothes and can't afford them and what sizes for the area you live in. I have seen people post in my area not sure if they got a response, but it's worth a try, If you have smaller sizes you could say that you have smaller sizes to give towards them. Or you could sell them on there too if in good shape. But like any free ad sites watch out for spam and any weird feedbacks that don't look right. You can sell anything on that sight. Good Luck! We have used it and sold our truck and had no problem. It's kinda like using the newspaper ads.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 15, 2013

Does anyone know where I can find assistance or resources that can help you in obtaining school clothes and supplies for your child, when you can't afford to? Places that really help instead of giving you the run around.

By LOVELEELATANYA from Danville, IL

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August 16, 20130 found this helpful
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You can get a certain number of free outfits at the Salvation Army. First you have to go to their local office and tell them what you need and they will give you a voucher to take to their thrift store.

There are also all kinds of thrift stores that sell clothing for lower prices. Also you should have been watching for news items the past month or so, because some churches have clothing giveaways during the summer to help people get ready for school.

I don't know exactly what you mean places that don't give you the run around. If you are looking for free there aren't many places that do that. There again there is probably some organization that helps with a complete set of the necessary school supplies, but you are the one that has to be on the look out for them.

Another thing you can get the school supplies at places like the dollar stores. When you shop for these items leave the kids at home, because you will get by cheaper. Kids don't need all the fancy expensive items that are out. You could have been buying a couple items a month, since May and putting them away for the new school year. Actually the same can be said for clothes. There are some dollar stores that sell low cost clothes.

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August 17, 20130 found this helpful
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Social Services, Community action, Salvation Army are just a few places here. But if you call social services they may have a listing of places in your area. Or contact the school, they may also have a list!

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful

I was looking for information in trying to find a place to help with getting kids school clothes, nothing fancy. In march my husband lost his job, we had to move to a different place. However school is approaching by July 27th and we have no extra money to get the clothes the kids need. We currently are on assistance for food and medicines and insurance, but not for getting what the kids need. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank You.

M from GA

Answers:

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Do you have a Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, etc. in your area? If you will go to them and explain your situation they may be of help.
(07/04/2006)

I Can't Afford School Clothes

I would contact local churches in the area, they are always receiving donations, I bet you'll be surprised how generous the church can be. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Just know there are many people who are or have been in similar situations. BOL
(07/04/2006)

By Bren

I Can't Afford School Clothes

I volunteer at my child's school every year and pretty much on a daily basis, the school counselor would have bags of clothing for children and adults that parents would donate for families in need sitting in her office. May I suggest that you call your local school and tell them your need. If they currently do not have any clothes on hand, without a doubt, they can refer you to someone or an organization that will. God bless you and your family; you will be in my prayers. (07/04/2006)

By Marnita

I Can't Afford School Clothes

I have the same problem. Last year I went to the DFACS office (where you apply for assistance) and they referred me to Salvation Army. From that referral, I was allowed to get three outfits per person in my family. It was a big help for me and my younger son, too. Also check and see if there are any clothes closets in your local churches. A lot of the time you can find nice things there. I don't know where you could get new clothes, though. (07/04/2006)

By scruggle

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Try contacting Catholic Community Services: you don't have to be Catholic to use this service. The LDS (Mormon) church also offers such help. Try calling a local ward house. Really, any church in your area ought to be able to give at least some ideas.

Try the thrift stores nearby, the stuff there isn't always old and worn. I find a lot of good things there and my kids wear it as part of their uniforms at school.

See if there is a Freecycle on the internet in your area. You can post your need and people will reply. This is free.

Good luck. (07/04/2006)

By smcarney

I Can't Afford School Clothes

It can be so hard to ask for help, I know from experience, but it is out there! Many groups are out there, but you just need to take the first step.
When my daughter needed more assistance than I could give her one time I just got online and on "search" typed in "Oklahoma City charity organizations" and came up with a list 4 pages long that I printed out and sent to her.

Try your local DHS caseworker, the Salvation Army store here allows people in need just to come and choose clothes right off the rack, you might call your local one or even Goodwill and ask if they can do that. Also, try any Catholic Church or any church for that matter in your area. A friend of mine just called our local Catholic Church and asked them if they could put a notice in the church bulletin, as they were desperate for a washing machine and dryer and wanted to know if anyone could donate used ones to them. Within 2 weeks they had them. I am sure if you tell any church secretary or Pastor of your need they would be of great help. (07/04/2006)

By SkyeBlue

I Can't Afford School Clothes

I found a website called "Freecycle". freecycle.org.
They are located all over the world. The first thing you need to do is look up your state, then the closest area to where you live. Then you give something away anything and after that you can post whatever you need. If you need nice clothes for a girl, post wanted girls clothes size 10 or whatever. Then people respond. It is a great program that lets people recycle things instead of throwing them out.

I just got a swingset for my kids. I had to drive about 15 minutes to get it.
Let me know what you think if you go to the site. (07/05/2006)

By JILLSAVES

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Our local food pantry has clothing that they give away. You could also ask your church. They could place something in the church bulletin about a donation. They would not have to say who they were for if you wanted them to. Also, at Christmas time they have donations for children to help out with buying presents. (07/10/2006)

By Stacy from El Paso

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Where we get food and utility bill help, has a clothes closet that was really nice. Also, There are local churches that have clothes closets certain days of the week. The place where you get help with your bills or food, will give you a list for food banks, and also free clothes closets, if you just ask. Thrift stores are good also. And don't forget the local yard sales and flea markets if you have them. (07/10/2006)

By Glinda

I Can't Afford School Clothes

My folks had it rough financially when I was a kid and we bought very affordable clothes at Salvation Army. Also, go to churches, if they know you are in a crisis they will usually be more than happy to help you out. I recommend going to the website www.freecyle.org.
Post for what you need and you should get plenty of responses.

Also knowing things are rough financially check out the website angelfoodministries.com they offer a new "menu" of foods every month for a very, very affordable price. (07/10/2006)

By michelle3

I Can't Afford School Clothes

How about asking your friends/family/neighbors for clothes? When I was a kid I used to love my hand - me-downs from my older cousins. Try also looking for programs in your area which provide school clothing. If there is a church thrift shop around tell them your story and try to get clothes for as little as possible. It all means swallowing your pride a bit, but perhaps your kids will learn some valuable lessons along the way. (09/05/2006)

By pamphyila

I Can't Afford School Clothes

In West Virginia they give out clothing vouchers to families every fall. An amount for each child maybe your state does, also. I've been there, I do remember the embarrassment of "needing". Good luck! If you shop the Salvation Army and Goodwill shop in an adjacent town where the kids that donated their clothes won't walk up and embarrass your kids by claiming their old clothes. It happened to my daughter. (09/05/2006)

By wichypoo

I Can't Afford School Clothes

This might sound off the wall, but I will suggest
giving it a try:
Call the closest Walmart to you, ask for the manager's name and to speak to him.
Tell him your situation. You might be surprised, the town where I live Walmart is very generous with helping others.
Sending prayers your way. (09/05/2006)

By Autumn

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Do you sew, or know someone who does? My mom used to make a lot of my clothes. She would buy fabric on sale (now you can even get fabric at Goodwill). I loved the clothes she made using patterns I picked out. In some communities, parents can take their children's outgrown clothes that are still nice, to a place where they swap clothes for other sizes they need. If you don't have such a program, maybe you could get together with others who are interested and start one, or put an ad in the paper to attract other interested parents. My sister is a great garage saler, and finds really cute clothes for herself and her daughter and grandson for almost nothing. My heart goes out to you. I hope your situation gets better soon. Just remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Good luck. (04/04/2007)

By tismom

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Remember you don't need to buy much in the way of clothes especially if you have boys. I know I grew up poor and made due with tee shirts in warm weather and thermal long john tee shirts in winter. One pair of jeans goes a long way. (04/10/2007)

By Jeff

I Can't Afford School Clothes

Check out thrift stores, yard sales, lengthen girls pants by adding some fancy trims. put fancy sew on or iron on fancy patches from dollar stores to make designer jeans. Hope this helps you out. (05/04/2008)

By Ann

I Can't Afford School Clothes

My son is 13 and man sized. His school wears "uniforms". I buy him Dickies work pants that are doubled kneed, perm press, and wear like iron. I get the required polo shirts from flea markets and thrift stores. I look every time I shop for some in the right colors and size. I do buy him new shoes. He's wearing a man size 13 now! Underwear socks and t-shirts, but all said, I will spend $300 or less for the whole year. Unless he grows again. He has some jeans and pull overs I got at thrift stores for his weekend wear. That's how I do it. (07/03/2008)

By Brandi

I Can't Afford School Clothes

If there is a food pantry that you know of or are affiliated with, they might know of a place that has clothing at no cost. I know of two pantries in my vicinity that does this. It's yours to take. (08/01/2008)

By Harriet

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