Local charity desperately seeking donations - WNEM TV 5

Local charity desperately seeking donations

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An area organization wants to provide local kids in need with clothing before they head back to school.

Their ambitious goal - raising $8,000 in two days.

That's the amount of money needed to fill a remaining 400 empty bags desperately needed by area school children.  

"We really need help," said Mike Dewey, the executive director of Bay County's United Way.

This year more than 1,300 students in need applied and qualified for assistance from the Bay County United Way's Back to School clothing program, the highest number of requests in the program's four-year history.

In each bag, there's at least two shirts, a pair of pants, underwear, socks and a new pair of shoes - items they might not get without this program.

"As a former educator, I realize how important it is for kids to come back to start school feeling good about themselves," said Dewey. "And this is one way people in Bay County can help these young people feel good about starting school [with] a fresh new beginning."

Filling each bag requires a donation of $65. Donors can shop for the items themselves or leave that to workers at the United Way.

"We have shoppers standing by ready to make this happen, they just want the money go out and do this and make sure we can fill those bags," said Dewey.

The entire project cost the United Way about $75,000 to help provide for the students. Nearly 900 bags have been filled and passed out so far.

And after seeing the joy it brought students, Dewey is hopeful the community will come through so that no child expecting a bag of new clothes for school will be disappointed.

"We need to fill those bags," said Dewey. "We just need the help of the people in Bay County just to step up and say, 'Hey, we're here, we understand the need and we want to do what we can to help.'"

The organization plans to give out the bags of clothes to students this Wednesday.

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