Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Giveaway Sends Kids off in Style Beaches Folk Help the Needy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Giveaway Sends Kids off in Style Beaches Folk Help the Needy

Article excerpt

Neptune Beach resident Susie Miller held up a pair of aqua,

polyester stretch pants and decided that, though an older woman

might be happy to have them, there probably would be no takers

among children looking for school clothes.

Miller was one of about 50 volunteers at Beach United Methodist

Church who sorted a mountain of donated clothing Friday for the

Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry's Back-To-School Clothes

Giveaway. The giveaway, which gives needy children the chance to

pick clothes for the coming school year, was Saturday.

"It's so important for children to feel good about themselves,"

Miller said. "Those of us who are fortunate enough to have all

the things we need can give to the [needy] children to help

improve their selfimage. It's the community giving back to the

community. That's the important thing."

The desire to have Beaches residents take care of their own

motivated BEAM President Karen Wolfson to begin the giveaway

four years ago when she was the group's secretary.

"I felt very strongly that beach people need and want to help

beach people," Wolfson said. "What's fabulous is that it's

something the community has embraced, young and old."

Jessie Lee, 10, a student at Ocean Palms Elementary School in

Palm Valley, was folding and sorting clothes with her mother and

3-year-old sister. Jessie predicted the children who received the

clothes would be happy with the selection. There was one blue

and white jumper that she particularly liked.

Jacksonville Beach resident Carol Marks came to the church to

drop off eight dresses and four tops she made specifically for

the giveaway. But she was drawn into the sorting and folding.

"I made some clothes for older children for back-to-school and

decided to drop them off up here. …

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