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Hundreds helped with Jaycees clothing drive

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Aug. 10, 2011 at 3:10 a.m.

Caleb Patterson sorts through bins of donated clothing at a clothing drive put on by the Victoria Jaycees outside of Christ's Kitchen on Wednesday. "I don't know how many 'thank yous' and 'God bless yous' I've gotten," Patterson said about distributing clothing to those in need.

Tracy Lopez beamed as she tied the laces of the new-to-her tennis shoes.

"I needed shoes," Lopez said under a shade tree on the grounds of Christ's Kitchen.

As a special service project, members of the Victoria Jaycees distributed clothing to hundreds of needy men, women and children - including Lopez - Wednesday.

"I go through shoes every two or three months. They wear out walking to and from the bus stop," said Lopez who lives on her monthly Social Security check.

"I am on a budget and was wondering how I was going to get shoes. Even on sale, I don't have enough for shoes. Now I have these. I am so grateful," she said.

Jaycees project coordinator Shannon Poole said the idea for the project came after seeing the numbers in the most recent homeless count.

"We wanted to do something to help, not only the homeless but other needy families," she said.

Poole was thrilled with the public response for donations for the clothing drive that began in March.

"It was a huge response," she said. "We have an overabundance of clothing."

Poole said the clothing drive served a dual purpose.

"This was such a good lesson for our Junior Jaycees to see those who are less fortunate than they are and help others," she said. "It's been a huge success. We've helped a lot of children. They are all so grateful for what we've been able to provide."

The Jaycees also partner with CASA for a children's shopping tour that includes clothing later in the year.



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