As a little boy was handed one new pair of underwear after the next, he started to tear up.
“But my mommy doesn’t have any money,” he said.
It wasn’t until halfway through the shopping process that he realized he was getting all of these clothes for free.
This little boy was given the underwear through Clothes To Kids (CTK), a non-profit organization in Pinellas County, FL, that provides wardrobes to low-income or in crisis school-aged children. He is one of many kids who has only had used underwear — or even no underwear at all.
Growing up without new undergarments isn’t just about the cleanliness.
“We get more stories from the kids about dignity and sense of self worth than hygiene and physical comfort,” says Jennifer Jacobs, the Development Director at CTK.
This year, CTK is projected to receive 3,000 pairs for its kids from UNDERWEARNESS.
UNDERWEARNESS has donated underwear to kids in need to more than 75 organizations.
“It is not easy to get bulk items like undergarments donated to our centers for the children. Their support truly makes a difference in the lives of our residents,” says Grace Ugalde-Wolpert, the Community Outreach Manager at Chapman Partnership.
Chapman Partnership operates two Homeless Assistance Centers located in Miami and Homestead, FL, and more than 25% of its residents are children.
UNDERWEARNESS’s last donation to Chapman Partnership came at a time when the center didn’t have any undergarments. The staff, teachers and children were thrilled to receive the donation, Ugalde-Wolpert says.
UNDERWEARNESS has donated approximately 91,634 pairs of undies total over the past six years, including through its annual Drop Your Drawers and Run Wild 5K and Zoo Party.
Through its last race, it was able to donate 2,500 new pairs of underwear to Denver Children’s Home (DCH), the oldest non-profit in Colorado that helps some of the state’s most at-risk youth who face neglect, abuse, poverty and mental health issues.
“It’s so important to get the message out there that some of the most basic human needs — things that many of us often take for granted, such as underwear — are things that some children and families need most,” says Nadine Gunzner, DCH’s Development Manager.
UNDERWEARNESS continues to help and partner with organizations that share this mission — helping children one pair at a time.