Clothing Swap, Great for Community
By Capt Jennifer Lovett, 45 SW/PA
/ Published May 03, 2012
PATRICK AFB, Fla -- Who couldn't use free clothes, especially young mothers whose children outgrow their clothes so quickly? For the past five years, the 45th Medical Group's Family Advocacy program has held a clothing drive where base members donate clean used clothes of any size and then snag new-to-them clothes.
"The idea was military families supporting other military families," said Susan Thompson, 45th Family Advocacy. "Babies and children grow out of their clothes so quickly that it made sense to find a way that families could exchange clothes with each other. After the first year, the program was so successful we continued it."
Family Advocacy decided to hold the clothing swap in April because it is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and Month of the Military Child.
Parents or people from the base community bring in clothes to several drops around the base. Once clothes gathered, the volunteers, like Alice Frazier of the 45th Medical Group, separate them by sizes which range from newborn to 12 to 14.
"We have a good response, especially for young mothers," said Ms. Frazier. "This was my second year, and I think it is a good community event because mothers can meet other mothers and when they are new to base; it is a great way to meet folks."
For 2012, the clothing swap was held at the Month of the Military Child celebration at the Patrick Childcare Development Center. More than 200 people participated in the festival and a good group of those brought and exchanged clothes.
In the spirit of community, the leftover clothes were taken to one of the shelters in Brevard County at the end of the day.