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The annual School Dressing Days event, sponsored by the Interfaith Community Council, was a great success thanks to hundreds of volunteers and generous donations from both member churches and the community. Children--1,395 of them--from 634 financially stressed families received both new and gently used clothing, backpacks, toiletries, and school supplies.
As coordinators of the event, we thank all who contributed to this effort. Volunteers sorted clothes, bundled socks, counted underwear, bagged school supplies, hung shirts, and hauled in mountains of clothing in bags, boxes, and tubs, transforming the gym into a small department store. Acting as personal shoppers, they escorted families as they picked out their items, making trip after trip around the gym.
We would also like to thank The Free Lance-Star for its excellent coverage, and Hilldrup Moving and Storage, Falmouth Self-Storage, and Kloke Group for donating space and moving costs. Because of their generosity, we were able to buy school supplies at a discount from Office Depot, and the VCU Dental School provided discounted or free dental items.
Thanks also to the five area Walmarts for their generous grants, and to Wegmans, CVS, Giant, and Geico for donating bags. Some of the children have never had the opportunity to pick out something new, and the families were so very grateful for what was provided.
This endeavor was truly a group effort; those of us who live in the Fredericksburg area should be proud to be part of such a caring community.
Becky Paul and Erin Faulconer