“It’s a good cause and we can’t not carry that on. I think it’s a plus for the family because everybody’s budget is tight and money is hard to come by. If you’ve got two or three kids, it gets expensive.” Marliam lee, interim police chief of Walker
WALKER — Stephanesha Thomas, 13, with Extraordinary Girls, a mentoring program, helped Quamalisha Brooks sort through uniform pants Friday at Revival Temple Family Center during the eighth annual school uniform drive “From Our Uniform to Yours.”
The Walker Police Department sponsors the program.
“It’s been good,” Stephanesha said about the annual drive that provides gently used school uniforms for children in need. “I’ve been having fun. I like helping people. I think it’s a good program.
“Some people don’t have the money, and they can just come out and get uniforms for free.”
For Brooks, who came to the event for the first time since its inception, the drive helped her provide uniforms for her three children, ages 9 to 14.
“I’m loving it,” Brooks said. “I’m finding what I need.”
Brooks said the free uniforms help her family financially, and she was able to finally get the size she needed for one of her children.
“No one has a size 10 (pants),” Brooks said.
“I got my baby some school shoes too,” she said.
Barbara Higdon brought her son, Dayton Magnusen, 5, and her nephew Cameron Branton, 5, to Friday’s event in hopes of finding uniforms for the children.
Higdon, who said she has always donated used uniforms at the end of the school year to help others, was hoping someone else could help her this year.
“It means a lot considering I only get $1,100 a month,” Higdon said.
“I can barely get by being disabled.”
Interim Walker Police Chief Marliam Lee said he wants to carry on the annual uniform drive started by former Police Chief Hunter Grimes.
“It’s a good cause and we can’t not carry that on,” Lee said. “I think it’s a plus for the family because everybody’s budget is tight and money is hard to come by. If you’ve got two or three kids, it gets expensive.”
“We’re fortunate to have families that go out of their way to donate,” Lee continued.
Most of the used uniforms were donated at various locations through the city of Walker starting last month, he said.
Walker Police Department Clerk Cindy McMorris said city officials have been collecting uniforms and monetary donations to make the drive possible.
“We’ve distributed information to schools, put the information on Facebook, and in the paper,” McMorris said.
This year, the program will distribute uniforms to between 300-400 students. The need for uniforms gets greater every year, she said.