Klothes for Kids Helps Families

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Bay County students head back to school next Tuesday and parents are trying to get those last minute supplies and clothing.

Hundreds of underprivileged kids are getting help this year from the Panama City Rescue Mission's Klothes for Kids project.

This isn't the first time Tammy Terry has found comfort in the support of her community.

Tammy Terry says, "We did this back when Hurricane Katrina hit, when we lost everything."

As the mother of 7 children, Tammy says she began preparing for the school year before her kids even began summer vacation.

Today's 9th Annual Klothes for Kids event helped her three little girls find their perfect first day of school outfit.

Tammy says, "I have one that's kinda picky and she's my little fashion girl so it took her probably about 10 pairs of shoes before she got the one she likes."

Her 'fashion-girl' Savannah Terry agrees, "Yeah, I was actually kinda picky. I'm never picky. My friend had [these shoes] last year and I was like man I want one of those! Except they were Converse."

Savannah is one of nearly 1, 500 kids who will participate in the two day program.

Pre-registered families are assigned a personal shopper that guides them through a makeshift mall at the Bay County Fairgrounds.

Each student goes home with 2 sets of school clothes, 2 sets of play clothes, underwear, socks, and a pair of shoes.

Savannah says, "It was actually pretty exciting today. I didn't know it would be all this, i was expecting a few little stores and everything, people in lines to go in. I was expecting it to be crowded but it really wasn't."

Panama City Rescue Mission Reverend Billy Fox says, "You can tell by the time they leave here, they feel like somebody has cared about them and it's because bay county does care."

It's the Terry family's first time attending the Klothes for Kids event.

But Tammy's already decided they'll be back next year.

She says, "Hopefully we'll be one of the ones that donate to something like this. We've done that every year since Hurricane Katrina."

Klothes for Kids will continue tomorrow from 9am to 4pm.

The Living Word Fellowship's "Got Your Back" and the St. Joe Community Foundation are co-sponsoring with the Rescue Mission.