Inflation remains a major issue for Americans, especially parents. With clothing and footwear at a rate of 2.9%, they’re looking for cheaper outfits for their kids.
One church in Tallahassee is celebrating a year of providing free clothing and other baby items families need without breaking their banks.
“This is a great way to show the world that the church is here to love on people and serve,” said Olivia Campbell.
Campbell is a first-time mom to three-month-old Isabella. She’s been shopping for baby items at Calvary Church’s Kid’s Closet since she was five months pregnant. Every first Monday of the month, expecting or new parents like Campbell can come shop at the kids closet for any items they might need for free.
“It feels like a nice store. It doesn’t feel like hand me downs. It feels like they matter, and everybody deserves to have nice quality clothes,” said Andrea Roberts.
Children’s Ministry Director Andrea Roberts said the idea to open the closet came after a donation of baby clothes was made to the church. Now, a year since opening, they have a whole room filled with newborn to toddler essentials for over 30 families in need.
Families shopping at the kid’s closet can come pick up a bag and fill it with any items they might need. Anything from formula to baby clothes or even a crib. The closet runs solely of donations made to the church.
Roberts said those bigger items, like cribs and strollers, are usually the first to go, but new donations help them continue to offer them.
“Anything that is expensive is a huge need in the community and people are always growing out of those too so to watch that continually be supplied is amazing,” said Roberts.
Another hot item is baby formula. The price for baby formula went up 18% in 2022, according to the Center for American Progress costing parents, like Campbell, up to a $1.15 per ounce.
“It’s very expensive so when I saw it, I was like I need to get it. It’s a huge help. That’s a few feedings,” said Campbell.
Now that Campbell has had her baby, she’s excited to be able to use the items she’s gotten from the closet and donate back as her daughter grows.
“It doesn’t make sense to buy a lot and then in a few weeks, they’re not going to use it anymore so it’s good that we can have that here and then bring it back for more families or babies that can use it.”
Campbell said the Kid’s Closet has also helped her meet new mom friends and find support in the community. If you would like to donate items to the Kid’s Closet, you can drop them off at the church of Mahan Drive Monday through Thursday.