The Duncan Banner
More than 320 Duncan children will be sporting new duds when they head back to school Monday.
The Jaycees and Rotary Club picked up the clothing tab for the large number of children as a result of a successful fundraiser. The two organizations worked together on the annual Christmas auction, which raised between $33,000 to $34,000.
In recent years, the auction raised around $30,000 to help pay for clothes for 300 children. For children to be selected, an application had to be submitted to the child’s school and the children were chosen from there. The shopping day took place at Wal-Mart and Payless Shoes, which gave families an opportunity to clothe their children.
“People were already in line when I got here at 9,” Haylee Root, auction chairwoman, said. “And I’m sure they were here earlier than that.”
Bill Bradley, who has been a long-standing Jaycees member and an active auction pusher, arrived at Wal-Mart around 8:15 a.m. By that point, the line was already sizable, he said.
The Jaycees, Rotary members and individual volunteers worked to move people through the line quickly. Each of the four Wal-Mart registers had at least two volunteers at all time. For the most part, the registers stayed steady with three volunteers.
The job of the volunteers was to remove labels and tags. They also bagged the items to hand to the children or families. Volunteers, including Rotary President Cindy Reynolds, interacted with the children and parents to thank them for their patience with the wait and to wish them happy holidays.
“We have a lot of help,” Root said.
With the number of people pitching in, most of the families had made their way through the line by 11:40 a.m. The shopping day was meant to run from 9 a.m. to noon.
She said there was also numerous volunteers during the auction, which helped to sell items more quickly. With that notion in place, the shopping line, although lengthy, moved people through as quickly as possible.
Each family had $100 to spend per child. Anything exceeding that amount could be paid by the family or could be put back. Many of the families thanked the volunteers for helping them by clothing their children need, especially as colder weather returns to the area.
“They were ready and eager,” Root said. “They have been sweet and patient with getting through this process.”