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Back To School Clothing Drive Provides Uniforms, Clothing And Supplies To More Than 5,000 K-6 Students
The Back to School Clothing Drive (BTSCD), Arizona’s largest provider of uniforms, clothing, backpacks and school supplies to more than 25,000 Title I elementary-school students at over 260 Maricopa County schools, is July 22-25 at Lopes Performing Center at Grand Canyon University Arena, 3300 W. Camelback Road in Phoenix.
BHHS Legacy Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor. Other sponsors include Bank of America, Discover Financial, Fiesta Bowl Charities, Grand Canyon University and Arizona’s Family 3TV and CBS5. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available and sponsorship packages range from $1000 to $25,000 and include benefits based on sponsorship level.
More than 5,000 K-6 pre-registered students attend the annual week-long New Clothes, New Beginnings event.
“With one in five students living in poverty, our goal is to break down barriers to education success,” said BTSCD Executive Director Karl Gentles. “Making sure they have clothes and other supplies means the students can focus on their education and not on what they don’t have.”
All students are pre-selected, pre-registered by their schools and bussed to Grand Canyon University Arena, which is transformed into a large “department store”. Each student is assigned a personal shopper to help select a new wardrobe including two pairs of shorts, two polo shirts, a sweatshirt, one belt, three pairs of socks and underwear, one pair of sneakers, a backpack filled with school supplies, hand-made items sewn by a Stitches-of-Love volunteer, dozens of school supplies and personal hygiene items.
Each child takes home approximately $350-$400 worth of merchandise, at no cost to them, totaling $2 million by the end of the week.
Founded in 1967, Back to School Clothing Drive distributes items through its signature programs, the “New Clothes, New Beginnings” clothing distribution and Student Attire for Education (SAFE), with support from more than 2,500 volunteers to children whose families are at or below the Federal poverty level guidelines, approximately $24,000 annual income for a family of four.
“Our products may be school uniforms and supplies, but we deliver self esteem, self confidence and a successful start to school for thousands of students,” Gentles said.