KERSEY, ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Back to school season is costly for parents, so a nonprofit in Elk County is helping families with those costs by providing free clothing.
It’s back to school season at the Guardian Angel Center in Kersey.
From the last Tuesday in July until the third Tuesday in August, the center gives out new and used clothing to children.
Tiffany VanEtten and her 7-year-old son Alex have shopped at the Guardian Angel Center for around five years.
“It provides us with used clothes, new items, school shoes for kids, new book bags, undergarments,” VanEtten said. “It’s always been really helpful for us.”
The center gives away clothes to children any age through senior year of high school.
To use the center, families must prove a financial need– the most common way is food stamps.
They will also accept proof of income, single parents in need, families of four or more children in need, referrals from schools, churches or agencies, and in times of emergency.
“If you qualify financially, we will serve you,” co-president Clythera Hornung said. “We don’t have any geographical limits. Currently we serve 8 counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania.”
They make it like a regular shopping experience, letting parents and kids pick out whatever they like.
“At the end, they all have a pretty big basket full of material and they’re happy and ready to go back to school,” co-president Marion Johnson said. “That’s our goal, making them look like every other child.”
So kids can feel confident and comfortable when they head back to school.
The Guardian Angel Center is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Tuesday until August 20.
Following back to school season, it is open every first and third Tuesday in September, October, November and December.
The center is closed in January and February.
It reopens for March, April and May.
The center also takes monetary donations or donations of gently used clothing. There is a donation bin on-site, or you can call (814) 885-6192.
The Guardian Angel Center is located at 364 Main St. in Kersey.