GILLAD MOUNTAIN – The Little Brides and Joys Moms Club found a way in 2021 to continue their mission of dressing school children in warm clothes despite Covid-19 restrictions.
For thirty-five years, the Moms Club has been providing warm winter coats, gloves, T-shirts, jeans and underwear for children in Morro County.
Last year the pandemic caused the group to suspend the project. Club member Donna Dorstein said they found a new way in 2021 by distributing clothes to children in bags. In the past, they always had kids who would come to the wardrobe and try on clothes.
“We’re getting ready to buy clothes in August and September,” said Jane Griffiths, a member of the Mums Club. “Our main goal is to provide warm winter clothes for children.”
As in the past, parents filled out forms from schools for children in the Cardington, Mount Gilad and Northmore school districts. The Highland District has her own wardrobe in Marengo.
Children’s sizes, favorite colors, and items requested were listed on the forms and returned to the school. Parents were called when the clothes were ready for collection at Northfield Medical Center with some bags being distributed at the children’s schools.
They’ve had a very good response, Griffiths said, with families dressing up three Saturdays in September and October. Volunteers had done their shopping, sorted clothes and had bags ready to pick up as the parents drove to Northfield.
170 children benefited in 2021
170 children were wearing 680 pairs of jeans, 850 pairs of jeans, and 850 sets of socks and underwear. A warm coat and pair of gloves were also provided for the children.
The number of children wearing clothes varies from year to year. The largest number was in the 2008 recession when 416 children were dressed. In the past few years, the numbers have ranged from 150 children in 2019 to 136 in 2017.
Griffiths said all underwear and socks are new. “Gently used” clothes and coats are also accepted and with money received from donations they purchase many items.
“We’ve cleaned several supermarkets of jeans and blue shirts this fall,” said Dorsten, who helped with shopping.
Dorsten said groups from their club along with other volunteers sorted and packed clothes in Northfield with up to 70 bags distributed on Saturdays this fall.
Ohio Health/Northfield welcomed the group to use the building to sort and keep clothes, and all volunteers were asked to vaccinate and wear masks.
Griffiths thanked all the volunteers who contributed to the project. She thanked Dr. Grant Galbraith and Ms for the use of the rooms at Northfield. Volunteers include: Amanda Federsen, Diane Kistler, Joyce Miller, Pat Riederer, Sylvia Renick, Brandi Smith, Tom Griffiths, Dick Miller and John Oyster.
Volunteers from Little Brides and Joyce Mathers Club include Caroline Bell, Sandy Decker, Donna Dursten, Mary Fuller, Terry Galbraith, Mary Galloway, Judy Graham, Jane Griffiths, Cindy Hirschner, Sharon Hickson, Pat Miller, Kathy Oyster, Cindy Shoaf and Louis Weston. .
Griffiths emphasized that the club relies on the community for both donations and volunteers.
“We only have 14 members, so volunteers are indispensable,” Griffiths said. “We don’t have paid employees; the whole project was done with volunteers.”
Little Prides and Joys is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of donations are for children in Morrow County.
Little Prides and Joys Mothers Club member Jane Griffiths with bags of selected baby clothes, at Northfield Medical Center where parents can pick up baby clothes.