The Sara Spano PTA Clothing Bank was started by Sara Spano in the 1960’s. Mrs. Spano saw that some of the children in the Muscogee County School system were in need of appropriate clothing to wear to school. She encouraged PTA members in every school to contribute their children’s “outgrown, not worn out” school clothes leading to the establishment of the Clothing Bank. Today, the Muscogee County School PTAs continue to staff and fund the Clothing Bank. Clothing and monetary donations are also accepted from individuals, businesses, churches, and service organizations.
The mission of the Clothing Bank is to enhance the self-esteem and promote a positive self-image of disadvantage children in the School System by providing them with a school wardrobe consisting of new and gently worn items.
- To provide clothing, undergarments, shoes, winter coats, and other items to children in need
- To keep children appropriately clothed, and therefore more healthy
- To improve school attendance
- To enhance a child’s ability to learn
- To improve a child’s self esteem
- To help a child “fit in"
- To encourage parent involvement through volunteerism
- To raise community awareness
How the Program Works
Children enrolled in the Muscogee County School District may be referred to the program. Referrals are made based on parental request or teacher’s observation of need and requires the approval of the principal, assistant principal, or guidance counselor. They may visit the Clothing Bank twice a year, once in the Fall/Winter and once in the Spring/Summer. During each visit, children receive new socks, new undergarments, new athletic shoes, and an assortment of gently used items, including a winter coat.
The Clothing Bank owes its continued success to the dedication of countless volunteers and supporters. The majority of our volunteers come from schools in Muscogee County. At a minimum, each school participates by sending three volunteers to work at the Clothing Bank four days a year.
Monetary donations can be mailed to:
Sara Spano PTA Clothing Bank
P.O. Box 12474
Columbus, GA 31917-2474
Clothing donations can be dropped off at the Clothing Bank during operating hours; which are Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am until 12:00pm during the regular school year. (Please see schedule for closed dates.) We are located in the Edgewood Student Services building at 3835 Forrest Road, Columbus, GA; our telephone number is 706-565-7410
The Clothing Bank is operated under the umbrella of the Muscogee County Council of PTAs and is a non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
School Chairperson’s Responsibilities
Each school is asked to have an active PTA/PTSA. As part of the PTAs’ commitments, each PTA/School should have someone who chairs a Clothing Bank committee. The responsibilities of the Clothing Bank chair should include:
- Scheduling* at least three volunteers per workday from the school to assist at the Clothing Bank. While there they will sort and hang clothes, and assist young students with shopping for clothing. Each school is assigned four days, 9:30–12:00, per school year to help. (See the schedule for specific school’s dates.)
- Coordinating trips to the Clothing Bank for students within your school who need clothing. Students may visit two times per school year: once in the Fall/Winter and once in the Spring/Summer. Students should come with an escort from the school and the appropriate paperwork. Only 3 children may accompany each volunteer. Parents are NOT allowed to work with their own children.
- Coordinating clothing drives and/or monetary fundraising to help support the Clothing Bank. Monetary donations assist with the purchasing of the new items; undergarments, socks and athletic shoes, students receive when coming to Clothing Bank.
Items We Always Need
- New Gloves and Knit Hats
- New Boxers
- Children’s Belts (New or Gently Worn)
- New and Gently Worn Jeans, especially Children’s Size 4-14
- Plus Size Adult Clothing for Children and Teenagers
- Winter Coats
- Black Flat Front Pants and White Dress Shirts
- Any Gently Worn Clothing Items Appropriate for School