Pasco County elementary school offers families a helping hand
Once upon a time, when it had more space available, Mittye P. Locke Elementary School ran a clothes closet for area families.
"There's no longer a clothes closet, but there's definitely a need," parent involvement coordinator Andrea Morrow said.
So on Saturday, the school will again open its doors to its children and their parents to get any needed attire. With the help of a Wisconsin-based nonprofit, the school has collected more than 3,000 new items to distribute.
"We had our school pay for shipping with ABC funds," Morrow said, referring to the district's charitable support program. "Since we are a Title I school, we have a lot of families with clothing needs."
School staff, along with volunteers from Gulf Middle and Gulf High schools, will organize the Locke Closet and operate it. They'll also help provide information on other community resources, such as food and housing. Attendance is expected to be high.
And other Pasco County schools are watching.
Because the endeavor takes significant time and effort, Morrow said, leaders from other area campuses declined to join in this time. But if it's successful, she said, many more might take part in future similar activities.
Mittye P. Locke also is already looking at how it can expand its efforts. Some parents have mentioned they have lightly used clothing they might be able to donate, and so staff members have started talking about a clothing swap later in the year, too.
"It's hopefully a need we can meet," Morrow said.