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FIS ‘Clothing Drive’ underway

Farragut Intermediate School is holding its bi-annual PTA Clothing Drive through Friday, March 27.

Parents and community members who would like to donate gently used spring clothing can drop off donations in the donation bins located in the lobby at FIS.

The clothing drive is sponsored by Knox County Parents Teachers Association and is a countywide effort to address personal care needs of children within Knox County.

Leighann Fuller is the chairperson for FIS’ spring drive.

“The Knox County P-T-A sponsors it and the local schools within the Knox County Schools system support it by having a clothing drive at the individual schools,” she said. “So we advertise and sometimes we do competitions, like who can bring in the most clothes and we just … hold a drive,” she added.

Monetary donations can be made to the effort as well.

“We donate everything that comes in, all of the clothes and sometimes money. People can make monetary donations and we just take them out to the Knox County Clothing Center.

“The clothing center supports students who are enrolled in Knox County Schools who have needs like clothing and personal care items,” Fuller said.

Cindy Britton, Knox County PTA chairperson, said the center accepts all used clothing items except used shoes, socks and underwear.

Farragut schools hold drives each fall and spring.

“We donate a very large portion of what they have at the center. They are excited when we get there and they always say ‘Oh the Farragut schools do such a great job of collecting.’ So it is a big deal for our school and the kids get really excited about it,” Fuller said.

If you don’t want to hang onto outgrown fall clothing until next school year that’s not a problem — Knox County Clothing Center accepts donations year-round.

“Each year the center serves more than 2,000 students and distributes more than 55,000 new and gently used articles of clothing,” Britton said.

“Students needing clothing may obtain a clothing card from their school’s secretary. The card should be completed by the school,” she added.

Clothing of all sizes is needed, including adult sizes for high school students.

Community members not affiliated with a PTA may donate as well.

“Donations of money and/or clothing are accepted and greatly appreciated at any time by anyone,” Britton said.

The Clothing Center is a service unique to Knox County.

“With the help of our Knox County P-T-As and P-T-S-As, United Way, Knox County Government, Knoxville City Government and other organizations and individuals, the Center provides children with the clothing needed to attend school regularly. This helps to improve a child’s self-esteem, which leads to improved educational readiness,” Britton said.

The center also clothes students in case of fire, displacement or other emergencies.

Knox County PTAs have a long history of holding clothing drives.

“The first clothing drive was held by mothers and P-T-A leaders in Knoxville City Schools when they saw children who were unable to attend school because they did not have adequate clothing,” Britton said.

“They began making many of the clothes with donated materials and refurbished clothing they collected during clothing drives,” she added.

Although the Clothing Center operates on the Knox County Schools calendar, summer donations may still be made by special appointment by contacting the center at 865-539-3791.

Monetary donations may be made throughout the year by mailing to: Knox County Schools PTA/Clothing Center 1000 N. Central Ave., Box 7, Knoxville, TN., 37917.

“Donors also may obtain a form from the center for tax deducting purposes,” Britton said.


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