With cold weather coming, it's heartbreaking to think of children not having the clothes they need.
A new outreach program that's up and running is helping students in Claremore schools.
Thrift Harbor is a thrift store that recently moved to downtown Claremore.
It's a way for people to get inexpensive clothing, while helping to fund Hope Harbor, a non-profit children's home north of Claremore that offers a wide range of services to help children and families.
"They can come in and buy good quality used clothing and other items at a very reasonable price," said Thrift Harbor Patti Lehman.
Lehman said people can get clothing and know they're also helping a good cause.
Now, Hope Harbor is meeting another need, through an outreach partnership with DHS and Claremore Public Schools.
"We've gotten a lot of ‘thank yous' and compliments from parents when we were able to help kids," said elementary school Principal Kellye Shuck.
Hope Harbors has set up new clothes closets at four schools, so far, in Claremore.
Shuck said the struggling economy has brought on an increased need for many families.
"Much more than we've seen in the past few years," Shuck said.
Shuck said just having clothes on-hand and easily accessible is making a big impact in a discreet way.
"Get into bigger shoes if they need bigger shoes—we see a big need once the cold weather comes in, in having coats and jackets, and then kids don't have to think about those things and they can focus on learning," Shuck said.
The clothes closets get items purchased from the thrift store through a special Hope Harbor Samaritan Fund, or they're bought from other places, if needed.
Volunteer Patti Lehman is also a retired Principal.
"When I was working, [I] saw that need on a daily basis," Lehman said.
The goal is to soon have clothes closets in every single school in Claremore and to make a difference, one pair of shoes, one shirt, one coat, and one child at a time.
"In these economic times, people are hurting," Shuck said.
The thrift store is located at 316 West Will Rogers Boulevard in downtown Claremore.