Rows and rows of folding tables stacked with clothing filled Bismarck High School’s gym.
For months, the nonprofit Youthworks has been collecting items for its annual “We’ve got you covered” event, giving kids in need the chance get back-to-school clothes for free.
“This event is obviously much needed for our community,” Youthworks employee Tesa Curtiss said. Curtiss is a supervisor for the transitional living program in Fargo.
Youthworks is a nonprofit in Bismarck that helps homeless, runaway, trafficked and at-risk kids. It provides transitional housing, offers food and hygiene products and other services to get young people back on their feet.
“This event serves 1,200 youth in our community who are in need of clothing to go back to school. We want every young person to go back to school with pride and dignity, and hopefully this can offer families some support in being able to do that,” Youthworks Development Director Emily Yanish said.
The annual clothing drive is the culmination of a yearlong collection effort — taking donations primarily from Plato’s closet. The event at Bismarck High School goes from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and by the end of the night, more than a thousand will have benefited.
“Sometimes we end up with a few things left over, but not much,” Curtiss said.
Nearly 70 volunteers helped set up the event in advance, including those at Starion Bank, as part of the United Way Day of Caring.
“Whether it’s supporting youth, the community as a whole, underprivileged, and quite frankly, this checked off a lot of those boxes for us,” Starion Bank Marketing and Communications Manager Donnell Dennis Roehrich said.
Yanish says anyone in need can show up for Thursday’s event — Youthworks won’t ask income, simply the household size and how many children the family is shopping for.