Several hundred Yolo County infants and children received a wardrobe makeover recently, thanks to the Gymboree Corp., which donated more than 60 boxes of new clothes, shoes and accessories to benefit local children in need.
More than 1,000 items in all were donated, requiring a team of volunteers to pick up, sort and distribute the donations at the Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services. Cherie Schroeder, director of foster and kinship care education at Woodland Community College, coordinated the event.
Recipients included children and infants living in local foster homes as well as children served by the RISE program in Esparto, the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center program, the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and other local nonprofits.
“We had stacks of clothes around a large community room, sorted from newborn through youth sizes, boys on one side, girls on the other,” Schroeder said. “Five or six Yolo County foster parents and several social workers, Regan Overholt of First 5 Yolo and Ashley Logins-Miller, a phenomenal child welfare program assistant, and I worked our way through the 60 large donation boxes.
“It was thrilling to see the joy on recipient’s faces,” she added. “The kids absolutely loved the clothes. The sweetest 18-month-old sat on the floor trying to put on a pair of pants, getting both of her legs into one side. She so wanted to have those new pants on and of course we made certain she went home with them.”
Foster mother Kim Gabbard, for one, certainly appreciated the donation.
“What a wonderful bunch of clothing I was given for my two foster children,” Gabbard said. “As we all know, when we look good, it helps us feel good (and) even little ones like new clothes.”
Said Schroeder: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, the face of a smiling child lets us (know) a difference has been made in the life of a child. A gracious thank you to the Gymboree Distribution Center and its customer service team.”