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BackPack Buddies hosted first clothing giveaway

Kim Hackworth folds and new clothing for the giveaway Saturday morning at Campbell Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. Kim was one of the volunteers who gave their time Saturday morning with Backpack Buddies.

Kim Hackworth folds and new clothing for the giveaway Saturday morning at Campbell Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. Kim was one of the volunteers who gave their time Saturday morning with Backpack Buddies.

The BackPack Buddies organization of the Freewill Baptist Church has helped thousands of people since it began about four years ago, providing families and children with food and other goods throughout the year and at holidays.

On Saturday, the group hosted a clothing giveaway at the church where 168 families and 302 children from Lawrence and Scioto counties and Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky came to take advantage.

“We got donations from several different places; individuals, Facing Hunger Food Bank and we also bought clothes to give away. They’re all brand new and there’s no used clothes,” Jodie Hunt, director of BackPack Buddies, said. “We have everything a kid would need for everyday life; pants, shirts, jeans, socks, shoes, jerseys.”

Hunt said the clothing has been collected for a year before the giveaway on Saturday.

“We stored it until we felt we had enough,” she said.

Every child that went through the clothing giveaway received a voucher for 10 items of clothing, plus an extra item of either a hat, socks or shoes. Boys’ clothing was on one side, while girls’ clothing was on the other, ranging in sizes from infant to XL. Ritz crackers and children’s books were also given away as freebies separate from the voucher and extra item. There was a select amount of adult clothing given away as well.

About 40-50 volunteers helped out at the giveaway, and free hot dogs and water were available.

“This is the first clothing giveaway that we’ve had, and we’re hopeful we’ll do it again next year,” Hunt said. “We’ve already received monetary donations for next year and people have let us know that they also want to donate.”