SEATTLE — When families in Seattle Public Schools have difficulty buying clothes for their kids, the district connects them with a non-profit, which works to get them new outfits.
They had an entire store to themselves Saturday as the organization behind the effort tries a new way of clothing kids.
Six-year-old Aliyah Smith can't wait to show off her new outfits. The first-grader was one of more than 150 kids who took over the Southcenter JC Penney store Saturday morning to pick out new clothes for school.
“It helps us a lot. My daughter is growing very fast, so she's probably changing clothes every other week,” said Maureen Gray, her mom.
Shahara Jones and her son Dre Dickerson got $100 to spend on whatever they like.
“I am a single mother, so this is very helpful to our family,” Jones said. “It’s a blessing.”
Operation School Bell is an annual effort organized by the Assistance League, a non-profit which serves at-risk, disadvantaged students in Seattle.
Seattle Public Schools staff identify families who might need help and direct them to the event.
They used to clothe kids in a small shop in Wallingford, but this year they've partnered with JC Penney and Target to give families more choices, and so they can eventually help more of them.
The Assistance League hopes to clothe 2,000 kids this month, and they have seven more shopping events in the coming weeks.