Every time I walk into the Walmart store, I have to detour around a tall black rectangular box that sits dead center in the entrance foyer. A sign attached to it begs for donations for the needy children of the parish. The donation? Paper, pencils, crayons, tape, paper towels and all the other things found on the school list required for the lower grades.
A couple of days ago that box wasn't to the half way mark; today it runneth over. I find that a testament to the people living here. Donating to a charity is a risky business. You are never certain where the money will go nor how much of it will get to the needy and not to a big salary collected by the managers of these charities.
Soon there will be a drive to collect uniforms outgrown by last year's students. These will be available for those families that can't afford uniforms for their children.
Uniforms are worn by all the students here and the parents love it. It's not only less expensive to buy the uniforms but it also makes dressing in the morning easier. You have two choices, tan or navy blue. You pick one and you're done with the decisions on what to wear. If it's hot, you wear shorts in tan or navy and if it's cold you select the slacks in tan or navy. Uniforms are a wonderful thing for parents. Don't ask the child. Since they don't contribute to a clothing budget, they would prefer the parents buy expensive jeans, dresses, shoes and all the other accouterments that go with fashion dressing. I think uniforms solve the competition in clothing that goes on in the schools, is a more inexpensive solution to dressing the child and takes the focus away from how the child dresses. Lets focus on the classroom studies.
My parents could have benefitted from mandatory uniforms for all seven of us. The ones that were outgrown would have been passed down to the younger child and by that time navy blue would have faded to baby blue and the tan would have been white. Clothing us must have been a nightmare for my parents. I know relatives would give us clothes and not one of us ever turned our noses up to careworn clothing. One pair of shoes were purchased for each child. Mine looked like combat boot/shoes. Heavy duty looking montrostities. I was "hard" on shoes so I didn't get dainty girly shoes. I guess today they would be called "sporty". I had shoes; that was enough.
Summer time was barefoot season. I don't remember having running shoes or creeping around shoes or any shoes during the summer. They were saved for school. I often wonder if there are any children out there that still live that way? There must still be big families of children that are limited to what they have to wear. We may have had a limit on personal items but we had plenty of playmates. I didn't miss the personal items but I do miss my old playmates. We built some good memories with each other and I never found regret for what we didn't have.