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Catie's Closet helps kids in need find clothes for free at 115 schools

Catie's Closet helps kids in need find clothes for free at 115 schools
Catie's Closet helps kids in need find clothes for free at 115 schools 02:32

DRACUT - Trying to find solutions for clothing insecurity is something every school is trying to answer.

Clothes give a feeling of fitting in and they can boost a child's confidence, but times are tough and some families don't have the means. That's where Catie's Closet plays a big part.

Catie's Closet is a non-profit that began as a tribute to Catie Bisson. She passed away at the age of 20 and was the niece of CEO Mickey Cockrell.

The idea is to make sure that clothing insecurity was not keeping kids out of school.

"We opened our first closet in May of 2010. Within two months, 1,700 kids walked through there and we were flabbergasted," Cockrell told WBZ-TV.

They build a store or a closet inside schools where children in need can find clothes, shoes and toiletries for free.

"We had no idea the need was as big as it was. When I started to do the research, I realized 38-percent of the children at that time in Massachusetts were in need," Cockrell said.

The first closet was in Lowell.

"We had to just stop what we were doing and figure out how to say yes to more kids," Cockrell told WBZ.

Catie's Closet now operates in 115 schools across the country and they serve more than 75,000 kids daily.

"When you have 115 schools, how many size 30 pants can you divvy up? That's the reason why the inventory comes in and moves out very, very quickly and why we always need it," Cockrell said.

The closet is also getting positive feedback from parents.

"We hear things like, 'The extra things you did for my child allow us to pay for the electricity and retain our home for another month. You've allowed us to not have to work two jobs," Cockrell said.

She also loves the reaction when she asks the kids about Catie's Closet

"Do you like Catie's Closet? Is it important to you? Does it help you? And they are like 'Catie's Closet is fire.' I had to look that word up. It's a good one," Cockrell said.

For more information, visit their website.

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