MOSCHELLE, NS - A Moschelle mom whose son outgrows his clothes at an alarming rate is collecting similar hardly worn garments from parents in the same boat and holding a free family shopping day before school starts in the fall.
Lesley Hodder calls it the first Annapolis Valley Children's Clothing Swap and she hopes it becomes an annual event.
“This little idea has turned into a big awesome thing that I am so excited to share with everyone in the west Annapolis Valley,” she said on Facebook when she started getting positive response to her idea. “For those who have not been following, I have been organizing a free children's clothing swap event. As we all know our kids never wear out their clothes, but they certainly grow out of their clothes.”
She’s speaking from experience.
“It was actually my six-year-old son,” Hodder said in an interview. “He’s growing like a weed. He went through three winter coats this winter, three sets of shoes – a pair of boots, indoor pair of shoes, and outdoor pair of sneakers. Three sets. So that’s nine pairs of shoes this winter. We were taking some clothes to our neighbour because we knew eventually they could use them. And he said ‘There’s probably other boys and girls who could use them as well.’”
Hodder said that got her to thinking. She’d just had a conversation with another mom in the area who said she’d just dropped off a whole bunch of bags of clothes that she been driving around with – and went to a local used clothing retailer to find more clothes.
“This got me thinking – from my son and from her – why don’t we just pool everything together, we’ll collect over several months, and then we’ll have one big swap day,” she said. “Whatever’s left over we can donate to the refugees, or a women’s shelter, or what have you. Kids always grow out of their clothes but they rarely wear out their clothes. So these are like brand new shoes and brand new coats.”
Besides being a community way of recycling perfectly good clothing, Hodder is also conscious of the fact that new clothing is expensive. Some people can afford it but some can’t.
“That was a big part of it too,” she said. “We wanted it to be inclusive, so it could be open to anyone -- if they donated or if they didn’t donate. If you have the money or if you don’t have the money everybody is the same level.”
She said it takes a village, and everyone is different. “I know when I grew up sometimes we had money, sometimes we didn’t,” she said.
Response has been excellent, said Hodder.
“So far we already have almost 10 gigantic bags of clothing and shoes and accessories donated,” she said last week. “We have lots of people saying ‘I have those bags in the back of my car and I’ve been meaning to drop them off.’ So the more donation locations we have the more feasible it is that people will remember, or do it. A couple of more locations would be great.”
She and the other mom organizers are looking for clean, stain-free clothing for ages infant to 12 – “something you would want for your child.” They will take donations until the end of June which will give them a month to sort before the free shopping day at Moshelle Community Hall on Aug. 4 from 12 to 5 p.m.
Several donation drop off locations are already accepting clothes and Hodder is looking for a few more in Middleton, Bridgetown, and Digby.
Drop Off Locations
Following are drop off locations already accepting donations:
-- Lawrencetown Consolidated school - Family Matters office
-- Champlain Elementary - 100 North St, Granville Ferry
-- St. Lukes's church - 340 St. George St, Annapolis Royal - TUESDAYS 1 to 4 p.m.
-- Moschelle Community Hall - 718 Highway 201, Moschelle
Lesley Hodder can be contacted through Facebook Messenger.