Southern Arizona nonprofit provides free clothes for adoptive children

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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Each week, KOLD News 13 partners with Casino Del Sol to highlight a person or organization that goes beyond the community.

This week, KOLD spotlighted Michele Wright, executive director and co-founder of Spreading Yarn Clothing Bank.

The local non-profit organization is dedicated to providing free clothing to children and teens in foster care.

Wright said she realized there was a need when she started fostering around 13 years ago.

“I got a placement from DCS two days ago, and I didn’t get much of a warning,” Wright said.

Wright said while adoptive parents get money, it can be tight, so donations really help.

“I was amazed at how children are placed in these totally impossible predicaments that we as adults would struggle to navigate and deal with. And it’s become my passion to remove any burden or obstacle that gets in their way because they have so much to do,” Wright said.

Wright said she has now adopted four foster children and started Spreading Threads Clothing Bank to continue helping other families.

“Our mission here is to restore some dignity for these kids so they feel good about what they’re doing,” Wright said.

Wright said they provide clothes for about 250 to 300 children a month.

“Kids can come here and get as much as they want for free,” Wright said.

She said when schools reopened after being moved away, they saw an increase of around 20-25% in calls.

“The children that I have seen arrive, not only are there more of them, but they are more in need. They were left in a situation longer than they would have been, so the situation was much worse,” Wright said.

Wright said they were also at a 10-year low for approved foster families in the state, as the pandemic forced a hiatus from orientation classes.

As the need grows, Wright hopes they can eventually expand.

“Not just so we can stock more clothes for the kids, but so we can house other non-profit communities like us who are doing this super important work for these foster families, adoptive children, all those involved in the system,” Wright said.

Wright said she knows what she does makes a difference, but she wants to encourage others to get involved.

“We’re going to have to help all these kids get dressed, find a mentor, they need all those things and I’m just one piece of the puzzle,” Wright said.

In partnership with Casino Del Sol, KOLD presented Wright with a $300 gift card.

Wright said the money will go towards buying new clothes and shoes for the kids.

If you have lightly used clothing to donate, you can drop it off in the blue bin at 1870 West Prince Road.

If you know someone who exemplifies the “heart and soil” of Arizona, you can submit a nomination here.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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