Young students have so much to look forward to during the school year: a smiling teacher, the promise of advancement, friends and, of course, their favorite classes.
Unfortunately, some also have to prepare for embarrassment, bullying and taunting from classmates because of circumstances largely out of their control. One of those things could be a lack of clean clothing.
One Vicksburg resident, Gina Hendrickson, noticed students suffering academically and even dropping out of school because of this issue and decided to make a change by organizing a clothing drive for students.
“It’s called ‘Help Vicksburg Children in Need’,” Hendrickson said. “A lot of children are being bullied in school for the clothes they wear, some aren’t going to school, and they’re just having a hard time. So I started this for people to drop off clothes, sneakers, uniforms and undergarments.”
The clothing drive started a week ago, and there are six drop off locations around town where people can donate items. Hendrickson checks each on a weekly basis. They are:
- Fit Chef Catering, 3401 Halls Ferry Road
- Merle Norman Belle Rose Salon, 1221 Washington Street
- 601 Sports, 3500 Pemberton Square Boulevard
- Vicksburg Police Department, 820 Veto Street
- Vicksburg Fire Department, 1630 Walnut Street
- Station 5 Fire House, 5855 Highway 61 South
All clothing items are accepted and there are no age or size limits. She only asks that any undergarments, including socks, are new and in their original packaging.
Hendrickson donates much time and love into this clothing drive, and she hopes that other folks in Vicksburg will contribute as well.
“I’m really hoping that the community jumps aboard,” she said. “I’m asking everyone to just donate what they can. Any used clothes that are donated, I’ve been washing, folding and just having them ready, and I’ve been going to stores, putting up flyers and just getting the word out. All exposure is great.
“If a family is in need, all they have to do is get in touch with me, and the exchange will be completely confidential.”
In addition to taking clothing donations, Hendrickson is also gladly accepting donated laundry items and volunteer time. If interested in donating to the clothing drive or volunteering, contact Gina Hendrickson at 914-522-4692.
See our live interview with Hendrickson on our Facebook page.