More than 1,000 pairs of women’s jeans have been donated to schools across Eau Claire, Buffalo and Jackson counties. The new Calvin Klein jeans will fit girls ranging from older elementary grades through high school.
Kim Carey, assistant executive director at Bolton Refuge House, said that a Calvin Klein representative contacted her agency recently, asking if the domestic abuse shelter would take extra pairs of new jeans that hadn’t sold in stores. The initial donation was expected to be about 300 pairs of jeans, but it wound up being 1,059, coming in all sizes.
“We’ve never had a donation like this before,” she said.
Carey said the agency decided the best way to distribute the jeans was to send equal amounts to all 24 high schools and middle schools in the three counties in their coverage area.
“It was wonderful to be able to do this,” Carey said. “We hope they will be pleased enough with our dispersement of them that they’ll work with us in the future.”
She added: “They got them to us a couple weeks ago. Our interns had to sort all the sizes and make 24 stacks of two of each size.”
One stack was kept for use at the Bolton Refuge House, with the rest given away. The donations have already started going to each of the schools, and the rest will be distributed in coming days.
“We cut off all the original price tags,” Carey said. “We didn’t want them to know the value. They are going to each of the school’s clothing closets.”
Carey said she’s excited knowing these clothes will get to students who will appreciate them.
“There are a lot of families in need,” Carey said. “For a lot of kids who rely on hand-me-downs, it will be exciting to get new jeans.”
The Altoona School District sent out a tweet about receiving about 80 pairs of jeans.
“It’s obviously super generous to get brand new jeans,” said Altoona school counselor Heather Burich Holle. “I’ve handed off a few pairs, and (the girls) are thankful to have a new pair of jeans. It’s absolutely amazing.”
Burich Holle said the jeans will go into the school’s clothing closet. She said the district rarely has new clothes in there.
Sedona Van Ert, an Altoona senior who is the student representative on the school board, said it was humbling to get such a generous donation from Calvin Klein.
“This donation can bring more self-confidence to students, so they can walk around in clothes that make them feel good,” Van Ert said. “It will help them fit in better. I think it’s amazing Calvin Klein did this, because it’s something we really needed.”
Altoona schools communications director Joyce Orth said it was overwhelming to get such a large donation. Orth said it has been a great week for the school’s clothing closet, as they also received a $905 donation from the Runn’n on the River race that was last Sunday in the city.