Back to school shopping was a beat-down. I vividly remember being inconsolable when a dump truck full of sand which my father purchased to add to our front yard (to augment the soil?) was delivered and instead of playing in it with the rest of my neighbors I had to go shopping. At Sears. For back-to-school clothes. In the chubette girls plus section no less. It was tragic.
I was uncharacteristically opinion-less about wardrobe that year. All I could think of was my friends having all the sand fun on sand hills while I was hanging out with the chunky, faceless mannequins. With bellies. And goiters. At Sears. I felt tortured. Little did I know the budgeting that went into getting my brothers and me ready for school. I learned years later that picking out the clothes was the easy part but paying for it all was as fun as getting hit in the eye with a sand chunk.
Many parents get that back-to-school anxiety. As in how can we swing it all? Shreveport, the city I call home, has a tremendous amount of children in poverty. Well above our nation and even our state’s poverty rate. That paired with with most public schools in Caddo Parish requiring school uniforms makes for a back to school panic. Maggie Lee’s Closet’s clientele are children K-8th grade whose parents working minimum-wage jobs have little wiggle room for groceries, bills and school uniforms. Khaki Fair is a big party usually around the time we lost Maggie Lee where we throw love & uniforms around like confetti.
Khaki Fair is an opportunity to welcome these children whom God adores and give them the one new set of clothes, undies and socks they will have this year. We cannot heal the deepest wounds of their souls but we sure can have the khakis and toothbrushes to back up our claim that God loves them. And He can heal them.
Many times I share Maggie Lee’s Closet’s stories of life change through the clothes and volunteer hours you give. The self-esteem which new clothes bring is an amazing thing. Pure magic and I want to share that joy because I know that God can use any tiny gesture to show himself as pure love and change the trajectory of a life. Just like God showed his love-self to me.
So, here’s the invite: if you are free from 4-6pm on August 2nd and want to volunteer, come on. Shoot me a message that you’re in. The volunteer sign-up station will be well- labeled where you absolutely cannot miss it. The needs are great and we cannot fix the whole world but we can in this little way spread joy like a pile of front yard sand!