BURLEY — For Rupert mom Krystal Peterson a helping hand with back-to-school clothes by Julie’s Clothes for Kids was a big relief.
“It’s expensive,” Peterson said on Friday. “I bet there are a lot of moms who may not be able to take their kids school shopping.”
One of her sons, a student West Minico Middle School, said he was able to get a pair of boots and a pair of tennis shoes along with other items.
“I feel ready,” he said.
His favorite item, he said, was the packet of school supplies that he deftly pulled out of a backpack and held up for his mom to see.
“Finally, colored pencils,” he said.
The backpack and school supplies were donated by the Albion Telephone Company, one of many community sponsors that made the third annual event possible, Sue Pehrson, Young Automotive Group’s Young Caring for our Young Foundation board member, said.
The third annual Julie’s Clothes for Kids provided 200 children from Minidoka and Cassia county schools with $150 each to shop for school clothes along with donated school supplies and coupons for food.
More than 250 community volunteers also showed up to help the children shop and provide games and activities for the youth during the event.
Young Automotive Group Manager Bruce Breshears said the school districts select the students for the program.
“It’s really nice that we don’t have to do that,” Breshears said.
The program was established after Breshears’s wife, Julie, passed away in 2018.
“This is so awesome. It allows the community to come together,” Breshears said. “It brings a tear to your eye, it really does.”
The children were also able to choose a donated book. Walmart discounted clothing for the event and provided the group with special checkout registers.
“The event provides a way for people to give back to the community,” he said.
Volunteer Ellie Darrington said she lost a sister when she was younger and Julie Breshears was a person who helped her navigate her grief.
“I also love these little kids. They get so excited,” Darrington said.
Volunteer Carol Nye, an Albion Telephone Company employee, said the event provides “a great opportunity for people to serve.”
Foundation board member Niki Ramsey said she’s participated in it for three years, but this was the first time she got to help a child shop.
The children were guided to the shoe section first so they could choose two pairs of shoes and then onto socks and underwear and other essential back-to-school clothing items.