INDIAN LAND — Its about more than just a new outfit.
The community is hoping to build Indian Land Elementary students self esteem.
The Indian Land Elementary Dress Code Clothing Drive aims to help students in need meet the schools uniformed look, teacher Tiffany Wallace said.
After seeing many students in ill-fitting or worn-out clothes, Wallace wanted to find a way to help.
Its something Ive always to do, she said.
The clothes are a way to unify the students and help prevent bullying, Wallace said.
We want kids to feel important, but also feel equal to everyone else, she said.
The school held a clothing drive last year asking parents to donate new or gently used clothing. They were able to provide outfits for more than 80 students, Wallace said.
It was a huge response, she said. The support was wonderful.
This is the first year the drive has been extended to the whole community. Wallace expects more students to be in need this year and hopes to have more support for the project.
We always come together and help each other, she said.
Currently, the most needed items are size 7/8 or medium long pants for girls and boys, Wallace said.
Dana Nicholson, an administrative assistant at the school and key member of the project, said it became clear how important their efforts are during last years drive.
There was quite a response of those who were in need of clothing items and we had many items donated to meet some of those needs, she said.
This year, the drive hopes to collect many new clothing items for the students, but will also accept gently used items.
Our goal is to put these kids in brand new clothes to make them feel good about themselves, Nicholson said.
Nicholson also works for Ryan Valencic at Carolina Spine, who is sponsoring the drive at his office.
When Nicholson approached Valencic with the idea for the drive, he jumped right on board.
I thought it was a great idea, he said.
Valencic is offering a free chiropractic consultation, exam and, if needed, x-rays to anyone who donates clothing items.
Its nice to give back in different ways, Valencic said.
Clothes can be donated at Valencics office until the start of the school year on Aug. 19, but Nicholson said they will take items after that date if need be. Monetary donations and gift cards will also be accepted.
The office recently received a donation of a few gift cards to help buy the students uniforms.
Somebody understood what we were trying to do, Nicholson said. I was totally blown away.
She said the project provides more than new outfits for the students.
It is amazing how new clothing can raise a childs self esteem and confidence level, Nicholson said. I truly hope that this will be a success so that we can help many children.
Items can be dropped off at Indian Land Elementary School throughout the year.
Carolina Spine is located at 8451 Charlotte Highway in Indian Land.