SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan. — The Shawnee Mission School District is giving clothes to hundreds of its students in need per week. The Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA Clothing Exchange gives free clothes, shoes and more to those families.
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Shawnee Mission West senior Isiah Smotherman is a volunteer for the clothing exchange program who said he sees the program’s greater impact.
“Makes me very proud to help them, a lot,” he said. “Makes me very happy.”
He sorts clothes and shoes for fellow classmates and families in the district.
“We take care of the entire family here. We have clothing items from infant to adult,” Jean Baucom, Vice President of Community Services, said.
She said the clothing exchange program is a free resource to all district families in need.
“Literally everything here is done with donations and volunteerism,” she said.
But like the program itself, the need is growing.
“I think many people who were once ten steps to the edges are now five steps to the edges,” David Aramovich, the district’s Homeless Liasion, said.
He said this could be all some students have.
“On average, Shawnee Mission School District has about 325 students per year that meet criteria for homelessness,” he said.
The clothing exchange program also has winter clothing and even formal wear for homecoming or prom. It also provides students in need with five free pairs of socks and underwear each on the first day of school.