From Staff Reports

Totals are in for the 2013 Clothe a Child campaign and organizers are calling it a memorable year in several respects, according to Area Director John Taylor.

"While we’re extremely pleased with the number of children we were able to serve and exceedingly grateful for the generous donations that allowed us to keep our promise of a $100 clothing voucher for each child, we still look forward to the day when our services will be less and less necessary," he said.

Clothe a Child is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds to provide eligible children in the Frisco, Little Elm, Prosper and Celina ISDs with an opportunity to purchase $100 worth of new school and winter clothing. The shopping occurred over three Saturdays in October at the KOHL’s of Frisco department store, where the management participated by offering special pricing.

The organization had set a goal of serving 3,000 children and recruiting 2,000 volunteers to assist the families as they shopped on their designated Saturday morning. Final tally reflects 2,664 children from the 1,449 families that were served and 1,624 volunteers recruited. New volunteers were required to attend a one-hour training session in advance of their shifts.

"Without the assistance of many people, we would not have been able to serve this many children and families. The four school districts assisted by identifying eligible children through the free or reduced lunch program," said Taylor. This was the first year for Celina ISD to participate and the third year for Prosper ISD. Little Elm ISD has been participating for six years, and Frisco ISD for 11.

"And, of course, the volunteers who helped us on the three Saturdays were invaluable. But, there are no words that can adequately thank the hundreds of donors at the various churches who gave so generously, the businesses, sponsors and benefactors who helped so selflessly. The Mayors of Celina, Prosper, Little Elm and Frisco lent their full support and it made a world of difference,’" he added.

Celina Mayor Sean Terry, Prosper Mayor Ray Smith, Little Elm Mayor David Hillock and Frisco Mayor Maher Maso each declared either September or October as Clothe a Child month in their respective cities through official city proclamations.

The Clothe a Child Leadership Team is composed of John Taylor, his wife Jeri, John Hamilton, Thomasina DeSousa, Patty Felan, Debbie Walker, Gina Gage and some 25 other volunteer leaders who gave extensively of their time throughout 2013 in preparation for the October events. "This is truly a team effort. This opportunity to serve our communities could not happen without the many volunteers who make it happen," concluded Taylor