A free back-to-school clothing program sponsored by the Mid-Willamette Family YMCA was scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
But the event proved so popular that 6 tons of clothes were taken in the first night alone, leaving nothing for the event's second day on Friday, according to YMCA outreach assistant Julia Labahn.
“We had so many donated clothing, shoes, backpacks and purses,” she said. “One of our entire gyms was lined with tables around the walls full of clothes in categories. We also had three large clothing racks full of jackets, shoes and accessories on bleachers.”
The event was open to all area families, regardless of income. People began lining up at 3 p.m. The program began an hour later, and by 4:30, an estimated 400 children were provided with clothes. According to Labahn, “Ninety-eight percent of everything was gone.”
“We gave one grocery bag donated by Winco and Safeway to each person and they were able to pick out jackets as well,” she said.
“Sadly, we had to turn away people when there was nothing left to give out,” she added.
The event was so successful, Labahn said planning for next year is already underway.