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Gulfside Elementary provides free, gently used clothing for back to school

Seth Bratton, 7, awaits approval from his dad, Steven Bratton, as his sister, Stephanie Bratton, 9, in background, digs for a pair of blue jeans at Gulfside Elementary in Holiday during a recent donated clothing giveaway.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Seth Bratton, 7, awaits approval from his dad, Steven Bratton, as his sister, Stephanie Bratton, 9, in background, digs for a pair of blue jeans at Gulfside Elementary in Holiday during a recent donated clothing giveaway.

The blue plaid shirt was a keeper. So were the Arizona jeans and the "gently used" but fashionable Converse sneakers.

The donated items were a definite boon for kids like Seth and Stephanie Bratton and their dad, Steven Bratton, 47, who was quick to give his nod of approval to the plaid shirt his son was holding up.

"There's a lot of good stuff here," Stephanie, 9, said with a quick grin. "I got a bunch of jeans."

The siblings, who are starting second and fourth grade, respectively, were eager shoppers, filling three bags chock full of free clothing during last week's orientation day at Gulfside Elementary School in Holiday.

"It helps me out a lot because I'm a single dad," said Steven Bratton, as he steadied himself on his walking cane in the school hallway. "I'm disabled and fixing to go for another spine surgery. The only thing I could afford this year was Nike sneakers for both of them and a couple of outfits."

But plenty more could be found at the school, Bratton found out, when he got the call to come on down from principal Chris Clayton.

"He knows our situation," Bratton said. "He's good about that."

This is the second year Gulfside has sponsored the clothing giveaway, which is the brainchild of former PTA president Nanette Galati.

The clothing that was stacked according to size on six long tables in the school hallway was gathered through a summerlong school drive, Clayton said. Members of Generations Christian Church in Trinity, which is a new partner with the school, donated 25 bags of clothing and helped staff the clothing tables.

"We've had a lot of people coming by all day," Clayton said, noting that leftovers will be donated to Metropolitan Ministries of Pasco to help others — including many Gulfside families in need of services. "It's great that kids have the opportunity to get some gently used back-to-school clothes."

>>Outreach center

Helping families in need

Metropolitan Ministries of Pasco (formerly Joining Hands Community Mission Inc.) is at 3214 U.S. 19 in Holiday. The Outreach Center is open from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to noon Friday. For information about services or donation opportunities, call (727) 937-3268.

Gulfside Elementary provides free, gently used clothing for back to school 08/23/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 8:01pm]
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