GREENSBURG — The Kids’ Closet of Decatur County had another big turnout for their recent fall event.

According to co-founder Jerry Abplanalp, 154 children received clothes, 87 total families attended, 14 new families attended, there were 73 repeat families, 20 children received clothes from the organization for the first time, and there were 134 repeat children who visited the Kids’ Closet.

Overall, the Kids’ Closet of Decatur County gave away 522 new items of clothing. They also gave away 148 new pairs of shoes, 100 pairs of used shoes, and each child received a bag of socks and undergarments.

Abplanalp said, in total, they gave away approximately $8,000 worth of clothing items.

“This was very good compared to other fall events,” Abplanalp said. “Anytime we get over 120 children present or more than 50 or 60 families, that’s a good turnout.”

Abplanalp also said those who attended were very thankful.

“We probably had more people come up and say thank you, people were very happy,” Abplanalp said. “You got to see the look on their faces.”

The event had approximately 60 volunteers of various ages take time out of their day to make this possible. Abplanalp indicated the volunteers are extremely caring and passionate about the mission.

“Everybody that comes to help wants to come back to help,” Abplanalp said.

This was the second event for the Kids’ Closet in just two months. In July, they held their biggest event of the year. In order to help students prepare for the upcoming school year, they gave clothes away to more than 300 students. It was the seventh annual Kids’ Closet back to school event.

At that event, 328 children were given approximately 3,200 items of clothing.

The Decatur County Kids’ Closet will host another event Nov. 21 where they will be giving away winter clothes.

History

As previously reported by the Daily News, the first event for the Kids’ Closet of Decatur County was held in 2012. Seven years later it’s as big as it’s ever been, according to retired teacher and Kids’ Closet founder Sue Abplanalp. Their first event was held in the basement of First Christian Church and approximately 100 students were given clothing items.

With the help of her husband and co-founder, Jerry, as well as volunteers, the non-profit organization has provided thousands of new and used clothing items and shoes to Decatur County children over the years.

Each year, they host four events and now serve between 800 and 1,000 students annually.

Sue Abplanalp has said previously she realized first-hand that self-confidence plays a key role in a child’s performance in school, mentioning that new clothes can boost that self-confidence.

For more information about the Kids’ Closet, visit www.kcodc.org or their Facebook page “Kids’ Closet of Decatur County.”

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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