Crabtree Baptist 'bugs out' for Clothes to Kids
Clothes To Kids of Haywood County, Inc. has just passed its one-year anniversary of helping to clothe deserving kids in Haywood County. Clothes To Kids is a nonprofit charity dedicated to the mission of providing a complete wardrobe of clothes for kids who are identified by the Haywood County School system based on the free or reduced lunch program and/or Manna bag recipients. Clothes To Kids works closely with the school social workers to identify the recipients.
Some amazing things have happened over the past year for the volunteers who have put the shop together for the kids and their parents to come to pick out their clothes. Many in the community have donated time, money or clothes, but none have been quite as creative as a recent donation from the Crabtree Baptist Church Vacation Bible School, located at 480 Crabtree Church Road, Clyde.
Laura Presnell, VBS director, called the Clothes To Kids director, Sylvia Russell after seeing a previous article about the group in The Mountaineer. Presnell wanted the children and youth in the VBS to collect socks throughout the week to donate to the shop. A little twist was added when the Rev. Matt Ledbetter gave the group a challenge — since the week's theme was the jungle, Ledbetter promised he would eat bugs if they brought in 500 pairs of socks.
There were lots of squeals and exclamations of surprise at the fun prospect of seeing their pastor eat bugs. Ledbetter’s daughter, Danyelle, upped the stakes even further by declaring that she would eat bugs, too, if they brought in 750 pairs of socks.
The tension was mounting when someone in the audience called out, "What if they collect 1000 socks?" Two more people came forward including youth director Richie Tannerhill who said, "Then we'll eat bugs, too!”
At the end of the week a total of 813 pairs of socks were collected. Sylvia and Ed Russell and Payton Adams attended the ending ceremony to accept the socks for Clothes To Kids and watch as the four volunteers came forward to accept their plate of bugs.
Each ate a bite in front of the microphone so that all could hear the crunch.
“At least I didn't have to kiss a pig,” said Ledbetter.
At the end, the entire congregation gave an additional offering to the mission of Clothes To Kids.
The volunteers of Clothes To Kids are waiting to hear who the next congregation will be to have someone “kiss a pig” for donations of underwear, shoes or other clothing items.
With a whole school year behind it, Clothes To Kids of Haywood County is gearing up for another year of serving kids. The community can continue to support the cause through individual monetary donations and corporate sponsorships as well as donated clothing.
The staff is happy to speak to organizations to give firsthand information about how the program is changing kids’ lives.
Call Sylvia Russell at 850-661-6766 or Dianne Goodgame at 452-2213 for more information.
To inquire about clothing sizes most needed or to drop off donations, call 456-8990 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.clothestokidshaywood.org. Clothes to Kids is currently accepting only school appropriate fall and winter clothes.