CONWAY, Ark. — Shopping for new back-to-school clothes is something many families simply can’t do, but the Salvation Army in Conway doesn’t want any children to feel uncomfortable on their first day.

Back to school clothes for three children can cost a lot of money.

"Hundreds, hundreds of dollars," Jerrie Moranda said.

Moranda is thankful the Conway Salvation Army is helping her in a tough time.

"I'm a single mom and I'm struggling right now pretty bad," she said. "If it wasn't for them, they'd be going back to school in the same clothes they were in last year."

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For nine years, they've held back-to-school events to offer free clothes and backpacks to children in Faulkner, Cleburne, and Van Buren Counties.

It started August 5 and will go on until August 9.

"There's so many families struggling, single moms single dads that have kids, it's just...it's a blessing to them," Social Service Director Debbie Hendrix said.

Each child can receive:

  • 3 shirts
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 3 skirts or dresses
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 1 coat or jacket

So far, over 200 children have gotten clothes. Typically the total number of children served is around 200 and there are still two days to go.

"The need is strong, we have such a need especially in Faulkner County and in Perry County where you have more of a farm community, parents struggle," Hendrix said.

Staff put aside some of the clothing donations specifically for this event so children can have school clothes that look new.

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"I stare in tears at some of the kids that just need these clothes and they're so blessed, and kids will come up and thank you," Hendrix said.

Workers even keep school supplies behind the counter just in case someone needs. it.

They hope this will get kids started on the right foot.

"They're not even sure they're going to have clothes, so I'm surprising them. So, if it wasn't for the Salvation Army I'd feel really bad 'cause they don't understand," Moranda said.

To get a voucher for the free clothes you just need something that verifies the child's name, age, and school.

Because of the high volume of people coming in, more clothing donations are always appreciated.