Belk donates 3,300 uniforms to students in need

Aug. 13, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Belk donated 3,300 school uniforms to students in need in Union, Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties. 

More than 500 uniforms were given to Union County. The United Way agencies YWCA and Boys & Girls Club will receive uniforms. In Union County Public Schools, Benton Heights Elementary, East Elementary, Rock Rest Elementary, Walter Bickett Elementary and other schools will receive uniforms. 

The uniforms will be distributed through Carolyn White, director of student services and testing. White said counselors will contact her and she will help them get the uniforms they need. 

“People have been calling for six to eight weeks already,” White said. “It is a huge need.”

She said sometimes parents with children in schools that do not require uniforms will call for clothing. 

“It’s important on your first day” to have new clothes, White said. 

White said she was able to save some uniforms from last year to help students in year-round schools, who went back to school earlier.

Members of the Monroe Boys & Girls Club were on hand to meet Belkie Bear and watch as boxes of uniforms were unloaded by UPS Monday. 

Belk has donated more than 8,500 two-piece uniforms with an approximate value of $200,000 over the past three years through its Get Cool 4 School campaign. 

Community Relations Specialist Nikita Sanders told the children they came to give them uniforms and they hoped the kids had a good year at school. 

“This donation allows Belk to combine our retail acumen with our passion for local philanthropy, so we’re honored to continue partnering with United Way,” Adam Orvos, chief financial officer for Belk, said in a statement. “Belk consistently runs one of this United Way’s 10 largest campaigns because we believe in the impact the organization makes. Agencies funded by United Way improve the lives of not only children who can’t afford uniforms, but help parents find jobs, stabilize homes and much more. Academic success only comes when we all work together to create the right environment, so we’re proud to do our part.” 

For the first time since the partnership began, the organizations issued a “call to action.” Belk is encouraging customers to send new or gently used uniforms to Union County Public Schools. If anyone wants to donate online they can at www.belk.com/uniforms or by visiting www.uwcentralcarolinas.org/belk-uniforms. 

“We’re grateful they help disadvantaged students begin the school year proudly wearing new school uniforms like their peers,” United Way Executive Director Jane McIntyre said in a statement. “We’re equally appreciative that this comes just before we launch our 2013 fundraising campaign. Belk is helping United Way and every student in need get wonderful momentum that will carry forward throughout the year.”