Assistance League of the Chesapeake Kids In Need uniforms for children

Multi-purpose rooms. Stages. Music classrooms. Libraries.

These are some of the types of rooms we have recently used at local elementary schools. Our purpose has been to measure Kids In Need for school uniforms.

Today’s “room” was a section of the Anne Arundel County Public School warehouse in Millersville, where the school system lets us store the thousands of uniforms we supply, free of charge, to students.

How did we get to this latest room? At each school where we volunteer, Assistance League of the Chesapeake members lay out sample sizes of pants, shirts and sweatshirts. Amid the sounds of children’s laughter and school announcements over the intercom, volunteers measure students, allowing for growth. Scribes write labels for each student noting their sex, grade, teacher and sizes. The labels are attached to plastic bags and the information is added to a master spreadsheet. We’ve got it down to a science. On a typical morning, we measure over 100 students in under two hours!

Thirty women gathered this morning to put together uniform packages.

What’s in a package? AL Chesapeake packs pants, polo shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, socks and a baggie of toiletries. These are given to children who have been identified as in-need by the schools’ counselors. It was a joyful morning with the volunteers, including three Old Navy employees, moving up and down the aisles—boys’ clothing on one side, girls’ on the other—gathering items for each student and putting them inside the previously labeled bag.

The “quality control” table had women checking the sizes, putting the clothing in the bags, and then sorting them by school. It’s quite an operation and a testament to the organizational skills of our Kids In Need chair, Marie Bossie, and her team of Assistance League members.

Delivery of the uniforms will take place in just a couple of days, bringing the fall phase of the Kids In Need program to a happy conclusion. For many children, this will be the first new clothing they have ever owned.

And in just a few months, we will start all over again, in yet another room.