“My name is Pat, and I work for the Knox County Schools PTA Clothing Center. I’ve worked here for quite some time, and I’ve seen all kinds of individuals and families come in for assistance. I’ve had a grandmother come straight from receiving guardianship of her grandchildren – she came here straight from court and we provided her four grandchildren with new and gently-used items, because they came to her with absolutely nothing. And just before Christmas, a social worker came in and said that they had a little boy going to school who didn’t have a coat. It was just so cold, and that baby was walking to school with nothing to keep him warm. So we gave him a coat, and he paid nothing. Any child that comes through these doors does not pay anything for the items they receive. This is a completely free service to our Knox County School children, and it’s an important service. If we can keep a child in school by giving them appropriate clothing to wear, if they can attend school on a regular basis without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable because of their clothes, then we’ve succeeded and ultimately, that child will succeed as well.”

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