The clothes off your back

The Bigfork Ladies Service Club is very excited to introduce Threads, a new resource for Bigfork Middle and High School students who lack the financial means to fill their basic needs of clothing, hygiene items and school supplies.

Some of the students in our community are part of a growing number living at or below the poverty level and/or are part of a homeless family, or homeless and alone.

Through a cooperative effort with the schools, students will be referred to Threads to “shop” for what they need. There is no charge to any student and the store will not be open to the public.

It is anticipated that Threads will serve referred students accompanied by a school counselor or teacher, in January 2017.

In this beautiful area so rich in natural beauty that we call home it is not unusual for students living in poverty and homelessness to be nearly invisible. But it is a reality and the numbers affected are steadily increasing.

Children living in poverty account for the greatest number of school absences and for dropping out before graduation; just getting to school is often a struggle.

And they are at a greater risk for depression, drug abuse and suicide. When they can’t “fit in” with their peers because of their clothing or hygiene the risk is compounded because of embarrassment and lack of self-esteem.

The idea for this service as well as the name Threads came from Kim Rose, BLSC Vice President, who recognized a need for this particular resource through her many volunteer hours with BLSC and the Bigfork Food Bank, presented the idea to the BLSC members at their September business meeting where it was enthusiastically approved and a committee formed.

Things have moved faster than expected. First, and vitally important, was having a space generously provided by the Bigfork Community Center. This is an ideal location as it is directly across Commerce Street from the schools.

Clothing donations are already coming in and the clothing racks, donated by the Bigfork Community United Methodist Church and the Reloved Thrift Store, are starting to fill. More donations will be needed to fully stock the store.

Currently, the time scheduled for bringing in donations is every Thursday between 1 and 5 p.m. at the Community Center on Commerce Street. It is important that donations are not left outside the building. Volunteers from BLSC will be there during the scheduled hours. If this is not a convenient, call Kim at 249-5820.

Donations of new or gently worn, clean clothing appropriate for teenagers is requested, especially coats, jackets, hoodies and boots as frigid winter weather is quickly approaching. The Club is a nonprofit organization and the oldest ladies’ service club locally. It began as the Lady Lions in 1961. Its focus has always been on identifying and addressing areas of need. Monies are donated in Bigfork and Flathead Valley.

The Club’s major fundraiser is a food booth at the Flathead County Fair.

Members volunteer for community activities such as serving chili and cocoa to the Christmas Elves, providing cookies at the annual Children’s Christmas event, and a luncheon for the Bigfork Summer Playhouse cast.

Bigfork Ladies Service Club Address PO Box 27 Bigfork, MT 59911

Phone 1 406-261-3410 Phone 2 406-837-4449 Email

Threads is a new direction for BLSC and one that we feel is a wonderful way of working together with others in the community to “give back.”

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