Kiwanis Club helps out at Kids Kloset

Arlington Kiwanis Club member Kris Carter helps Linda Dussault and Sukey Miller help sort clothes for kids at Kids Kloset in a work party of the Arlington Kiwanis Club April 4.  - Courtesy photo
Arlington Kiwanis Club member Kris Carter helps Linda Dussault and Sukey Miller help sort clothes for kids at Kids Kloset in a work party of the Arlington Kiwanis Club April 4.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

ARLINGTON — Members of the Arlington Kiwanis Club spent the day working at Kids Kloset April 4, completing a number of odd tasks that needed to be done, according to club president Jan Bauer.

Kids Kloset is a source of clothing and school supplies for children in the Arlington School District and neighboring districts who cannot afford to buy them, in an ongoing project that was recently selected as the winner of the Community Leadership Award by the Washington Association of School Administrators Region 109.

The Leadership Award is presented to community members or groups in recognition of their contributions toward education, according to a WASA press release.

Kids’ Kloset was opened in Arlington in September 2005 by the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers. The group, with its mission “to enhance learning through nurtured self-esteem,” has provided clothing, free of charge, to children in need in Arlington and neighboring school districts.

They provided complete wardrobes to 525 children in the first quarter after opening, and in the fall of 2008, they served over 1,000 children. Volunteers include community, school and special interest groups like the Arlington Kiwanis Club, who provide support from remodeling the facility provided by the Arlington School District to sorting and ironing donations to mopping floors. Volunteers logged more than 2,300 hours last year in the “store” located on the first floor of the old Arlington High School building.

Recently Kids’ Kloset opened a dedicated “Prom Room” where dresses and accessories were displayed in a fashion that made it easy for girls to find a dress and feel special at the same time.

On a shoestring budget, Kids’ Kloset meets the needs of children in a friendly, positive atmosphere.

The clothing is collected from a variety of sources, washed and organized in a retail style of display. The volunteer group raises funds from private donations and an annual auction. Proceeds are used to purchase new school supplies, shoes and undergarments.

“We have helped in the past with painting, organizing, building shelves and changing displays. On Kiwanis One Day, April 4, we spent the morning cleaning, sweeping and mopping floors, washing and ironing clothes, and sorting clothes and shoes for display on the racks and shelves,” Bauer said.

“Ten members started working at 9 a.m. and finished by noon.”

Volunteer helpers included Denny Byrnes, Robin Miller, Virginia Hatch, Kris Carter, Michael Prihoda, Sherri Phelps, Terry Marsh, Deena Jones, Bauer and her friend Suki.

“Our Lt. Governor, Al Dantico, stopped by to observe our project and offered to help,” Bauer said.

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