As parents and kids continue to settle back into the school routine, a number of churches in Dowagiac have come together to help them do so in style.
A.C.T.I.O.N, which stands for Area Churches Together in One Network, is having a school clothes giveaway Wednesday night so kids can come get clothes.
A.C.T.I.O.N is made up of 16 churches from around the area. This group has only been around for about two years but they have big plans in store for helping the Dowagiac community. One of the ways they help the community is through a food pantry.
“Serving between 50 and 70 families a week in this food pantry. The only stipulation is you have to live in the Dowagiac school district and meet government guidelines,” says trustees chairman, Jeff Neumann.
This group says a weekly food pantry is something this area needs.
“Over half of the students in the school system are on free or reduced lunch programs and it’s a hard time,” continues Neumann.
But they aren't stopping there. They spent the last three months gathering clothes to start a clothing pantry. While it’s still a work in progress they have already started clothing giveaways.
“We did a school clothes giveaway Monday and we had 30 children come up and get clothes to help and to help with their school clothes,” explains food pantry coordinator, Deborah Douglas.
After the building's renovations are done they hope to have the food pantry and clothing pantry run on the same day, making it a one stop shop for the community.
“Food pantry is 10 to 12 and we are going to try to keep the clothing pantry after that, from 12 to 3,” Douglas continues.
But, this group isn't stopping there. They continue to look for ways to help in the future.
“We want to do shopping courses for people to be smarter shoppers. We want to do cooking classes. We want to have people use this as a facility for learning and even a spot for special events,” says Neumann.
The group says the construction should be done by October. That's when they hope the clothing pantry will join the food pantry every Saturday.
Now, Wednesday night’s school clothes giveaway starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 8p.m. If you can't make it, they will have another one this Friday at the same time.
Food Pantry: Every Saturday from 10a.m. to 12p.m. at 301 East Main Street, Dowagiac Michigan
School Clothes Giveaway:
Wednesday: 5 to 8 p.m.
Friday: 5 to 8 p.m.
ACTION's phone number: 269-782-0000