The Moline Breakfast Optimist Club donates winter clothes to area students

The Moline Breakfast Optimist Club donates winter clothes to area students
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 8:02 AM CST
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MOLINE, Iowa (KWQC) -The Moline Breakfast Optimist Club gifted students at Jefferson Early Childhood Center new winter coats, hats, shoes, and mittens as part of their “Shoes and Clothes that Fit” program. The event took place at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The focus of the club is to better the lives of the community youth.

The Moline Breakfast Optimist Club has been working with the school for over 20 years. They got the idea for the program from one of their members who was volunteering at the school.

“He noticed that some of the kids needed new shoes. So he suggested to our club that would be one of the things we could do. And so we did,” said Patrick Wendt, Chairman of the Moline Breakfast Optimist Club.

Rachel Fowler, principal of Jefferson Early Childhood Center said each family of the students gets the chance to express a need and the event is an impactful opportunity.

“It’s a great way to start the holiday season. Giving out new coats, hats, gloves, shoes, and possibly boots to our students that may need them. So it’s just a wonderful time of giving and allowing our children and families to receive things that they need,” said Fowler.

To afford new winter clothing for students every year, the Moline Breakfast Optimist Club takes donations and holds fundraisers to buy the clothing they give away every year.

Fowler says 80 different families will benefit from Wednesday Donations. She says getting new shoes means so much to the children.

“I can think about different students that wiggle their toes because they have room in their shoes, and they can feel like these shoes fit, they feel good. And more importantly, the next day following the presentation. They’ll come and they’ll say, look at my shoes. I wear my shoes. I gotta keep these shoes. They’re so excited about that,” said Fowler.

The Optimist Club also helps sponsor the “Build You’re Home Library Program " at Jefferson Early Childhood. It’s a program that rewards a child a free book when they read with their parents.

So far club members have given over 2,000 pairs of shoes and over 300 coats.