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The Escambia County School District Clothes Closet

The Escambia County School District is opening a new clothing closet.  The closet is for Escambia County Students in need of clothes.  It's the first time the county has opened a gently new or used clothing closet.  The closet serves the entire Escambia County District.

The director of Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy, Celestine Lewis, met with principals from around the county and asked them what their kids needed.  "Hey, there is a commonality of our needs. They have children they need socks, they need shoes." 

She has worked for Escambia County Schools for 14 years and keeps clothes at her school just in case they're needed. "I don't believe in giving. That's not me. I want to be crystal clear. I believe in giving people a helping hand."

The closet will be staffed by volunteers only and it will open in the fall.  The plan has the endorsement of Superintendent Malcolm Thomas.  "62 percent of our students are on free and reduced lunch. Sometimes families just don't have the money. Like the last cold winter we had. It was one of the coldest winters in Florida. They may not have the heavy jacket they need for that weather and they can't afford it and so, when teachers see that, they absolutely want to have a way to help."

Lewis says without the support of the superintendent and the school board, this closet would not be opening. "This was a mission that the lord wanted me to be involved with and I am so grateful. I can't even describe the words how I feel for the boys and girls of Escambia County and for the families. I don't have words and that is all I can say."

The Escambia County School District Clothes Closet is accepting donations.   They are also taking gently used items and financial donations.

Here is the info on how to donate to the Escambia County School District Clothes Closet,
 
Beginning June 5, 2014, clothing as well as monetary donations will be accepted from local businesses, agencies and community members.
 
Donate clothes to Lincoln Park Elementary at 7600 Kershaw Street Pensacola, Florida 32534. Or call Principal of Lincoln Park Primary, Cassandra Smith, (850) 494-5620 or the Director of Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy, Celestine Lewis, to speak with the (850) 432-2273.
 
Monetary donations are also accepted. Make your contribution payable to Escambia County Public Schools Foundation "ECSD Clothes Closet" 30 East Texar Drive Pensacola, Florida 32503. Or call the Escambia County Public Schools Foundation Office, (850) 469-5354.

For more information contact the School Social Worker Department, (850) 469-5451.