La Crosse, WI (WXOW) ---- August means back to school shopping for most families. While most families can handle the extra expense others cannot.
A new shirt is nothing to get excited about unless your childhood was similar to this. "I came from a family of 9 so I got hand me downs. So having people bring me a new item and having something nice to wear was pretty cool," said Lynda Boardman.
And even though it's not all about being "cool" it is at a young age, the Salvation Army's Julie Nelson says it's more about fitting in. "That first day of school is just so important you want to go back to school looking nice, feeling nice. Everyone notices what you're wearing. So if you can go back that first day looking good you'll have that boost of confidence that's going to carry you through the year."
Roughly 500 kids in La Crosse County almost missed out on having a great first day back to school. If it were not for Steppin Back to School, a program the Salvation Army started.
3rd grader Ella Lysne said she bought a student the same thing her Mom bought for her. "I saw the exact same romper. It was purple --- exact same purple. Same pattern. Same everything." Her big sister, Kelly Huffman said, "It just felt really good to buy clothes for girls who might not have nice clothes for the 1st day of school and picture day. I just thought about how fortunate I am, how fortunate we are."
Local business Potato King said they'd pay for the rest of the kids not sponsored because they know what it means to the kids. Manager Scott Herlitzke said "It's really important to get a good start in school and feel good about it and we figured that's a good way to give back."
Although it may not really be the clothes that make the person, it certainly makes the people receiving them feel special just in time for the 1st day of school.
If you'd like to sponsor a child, volunteer or make a donation you have until August 13th. Call Jeff Hoch at the Salvation Army 608-782-6126.
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