Operation Clothe A Child 2022

Nov 29, 2022 | by Joshua Nishimoto

Operation Clothe A Child

As financial hardships increase for struggling families, The Salvation Army Kroc Center hosts Operation Clothe A Child as a way to provide local children with an opportunity to purchase new clothes in preparation for the harsh North Idaho winters and beyond.

For the past several years, Operation Clothe A Child has been structured so that local children shop one-on-one with volunteers. For the three hours, each student has the undivided and kind attention of an adult, not out of familial obligation or because they are being paid, but because they believe in in helping local children. They care that the youth in our community not only have warm clothing for the winter, but also that each child feels heard, supported, and empowered to express their unique personality.

“This year, we made a critical shift,” said The Kroc Center’s Programming Youth Development Manager, Hannah Haakenson. “Rather than asking parents/guardians to drop their kids off, we asked them to come participate in the event with their kids!”

The first Operation Clothe A Child to incorporate this new dynamic was the middle school Clothe A Child event on November 19, 2022. Volunteers partnered with families to facilitate connection and conversation at dinner and assist with finding sizes and clothing items at Target. However, each parent/guardian help his/her own child shop.

“For the first time in years, instead of the credit for the night going to us or to our volunteers, we got to see it go to the parents/guardians!” Haakenson said. “The individuals who love their children best and whose full-time job it is to help them grow into the amazing men and women they are becoming are the heroes.”

In addition to the provided pizza dinner and shopping, throughout the year, The Kroc Center’s local knitting group, The Yarmy, knits hats and donates them for many organizations hosting different events throughout Kootenai County, one of them being Operation Clothe A Child. It’s one of many ways that the community participates.

You too can participate by applying to volunteer for upcoming Operation Clothe A Child events taking place on Dec. 2, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 7, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. If you would like to donate to Operation Clothe A Child and sponsor a child’s new wardrobe, please click here. If you are a family with children, ages 6–10, that would like to participate in Operation Clothe A Child, please follow that same link and apply by November 27, 2022. All donations stay in North Idaho and only fund this specific community outreach. Donations do not support community center operations.

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