Keeping kids warm this winter with Clothes for Kids

Published 2:51 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Katy Bell believes every child should stay warm this winter. With her newly formed cause Clothes for Kids, she has helped hundreds of families provide warm clothes for their children without having to spend any money.

Clothes for Kids aims to put families’ minds at ease when it comes to clothes shopping, especially in the winter months. Bell has set out to collect clothing donations from all around the Outer Banks to give to children that need them.

“There are so many clothes floating around this beach,” Bell said. Starting last year, Bell worked with Flip Your Closet in Nags Head and Hotline Thrift Store to gather unused kids’ clothes from the local community. She was able to provide clothing to about 100 families and is working to double that number this year.

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Bell and her small group of volunteers have been hosting events at the Dare Center, the Manteo Masonic Lodge and Wescott Park’s Lions Club Center, where young girls’ and boys’ winter clothes are set out and families are welcome to come in and shop for their children.

Bell modeled her cause after Food for Thought. “We put flyers in Food for Thought bags that go home and started networking with Social Services and schools this year,” Bell said. Through Social Services, doctors’ offices and Food for Thought, Bell has been able to reach out to families in need. As word spread, Bell’s inventory grew and she has slowly started to make an impact on the community.

As a mom, Bell was able to work at Manteo Elementary School, where her son is a student. “I saw firsthand when I was helping kids read that there are a lot of tough situations with families,” Bell said. “If you can do something to help them [the kids] in any way to be a better person and their families be better families, you’re going to help your community.”

Thanks to Malcolm Fearing and Dare Challenge, Bell has been able to gain storage space for her inventory. The men at Dare Challenge help bring the clothes to all the Clothes for Kids events and pack them up afterward.

As she books more events, Bell is in more need now than ever for help and donations. To try and solve this issue, she has set up donation boxes at Kelly’s Automotive in Manteo, Flip Your Closet and Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church. Bell also hopes to have a donation box set up in Southern Shores and in Kill Devil Hills soon. Her ideal donations consist of boys and girls winter clothes (sweatshirts, sweaters, coats, shirts and pants).

This cause has touched the lives of many people already: a single father with a young daughter that is growing out of her clothes, a working couple that has to make ends meet when their children are in school and young parents that are just getting started and may be overwhelmed.

“If a parent can go home and say, ‘look what I got,’ and a kid feels better and has a coat, it’s just a good thing,” Bell said.

If you or someone you know has donations for this cause, visit one of the donation boxes at Kelly’s Automotive in Manteo, Flip Your Closet in Nags Head or Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church in Kitty Hawk.



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