Get free kids’ clothes, school supplies, more

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at Brown County Intermediate School, 80 volunteers will help families find everything they need to send their children to school feeling fresh, from new outfits to new haircuts.

And it’s all free.

This is the fourth year for On the Road Again, said organizer Mary Kilgore with God’s Grace.

Anyone with school-aged children is welcome to attend. Organizers are expecting to help 400 children.

Last year, 369 children received a week’s worth of clothing, a coat, new shoes, new underwear, new socks and new pajamas. They also took home soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste.

This year, three beauticians will provide free haircuts and hairstyles.

The Brown County Literacy Coalition also will give school supplies to those who attend, Kilgore said.

For the first two years, On the Road Again took place at Sprunica Elementary School. At the end of the second year, Kilgore received a call from Van Buren Elementary School asking if they would host an event at their school, too.

That’s when organizers decided to move it to a central location, at the intermediate school in Nashville, Kilgore said.

She encourages parents to accept the help of the volunteers who can find sizes for their children and everything they need in a timely manner.

All children are encouraged to try on their clothing — dressing rooms will be provided — because no exchanges will be accepted.

A seamstress also be at the event to make minor adjustments, Kilgore said.

Leading up to the event, volunteers buy new personal hygiene items, socks, underwear, pajamas, shoes and at least one new outfit for each child. The rest of the clothing is gently used.

“I’d love to be able to give all new, but we can’t afford it,” Kilgore said.

Volunteers tag all clothing so they can keep track of which sizes were handed out, to plan for next year.

“We figured if you give 100 size 13 shoes next year, those children should be wearing a size 1 or 2,” Kilgore said.

Sponsors of the event include multiple local businesses and churches.

Help the cause

Donations of gently used children’s clothing or other items handed out at On the Road Again can be dropped off at the Brown County Presbyterian Church from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Monetary donations can be sent to the Brown County Presbyterian Church at 602 State Road 135 North, Nashville, IN 47448.

God’s Grace also operates a free clothing mission year-round for infants through adults at the Presbyterian church. It’s open the first Monday of the month from 4 to 6 p.m.; every Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m.; and the last Saturday of the month from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Call the church at 812-988-9764 to make donations for God’s Grace or to pick up items.