Making Swaps To Lend A Hand

swapST. JOHNSBURY – The Northeast Kingdom Community Action Agency (NEKCA) held their second clothing and toy swap. From May 7th to May 10th, NEKCA accepted donations for the swap in hopes of being able to provide for those in need.

The Associate Director of Early Childhood Services, Julie Hale, guessed they received nearly 100 bags of donated clothes in preparation for the spring swap. The swap helped both people in need of clothes and those looking to get rid of clothes. "Basically we have a lot of people that come in here needing clothing. So that was the original idea," said hale. "We have people actually saying I have clothing I want to give to people."

NEKCA received a lot of clothing for the swap so they decided to open the swap to the community for free. "So right now we just basically received a lot of donations, so we have opened it up to the community to come in and anybody can gather stuff for themselves, " said Hale. "So basically free for people. Most clothing swaps you have to bring in clothes to get clothes, but we haven't done that."

Hale explained that NEKCA doesn't have the space to keep everything on site. So they decided to do the swap, which started last fall. NEKCA Hopes to do a clothing swap every spring and fall. As the weather changes there's a bigger need explained Hale, "that's when people need to switch out. So that's when we see the most need."

NEKCA hopes that the clothing swap will provide clothes to anyone that is in need and thinks this spring swap could be bigger than the last one. "Last clothing swap we only had maybe fifteen to twenty people that we helped, said Hale. "So just today we started at ten o'clock, it's about 10:30 and we've already helped like twenty-five people. So I anticipate many more, which is exciting."

Besides the seasonal clothing swap, NEKCA also provides early childhood education services. "So we have a preschool head start program. We also take two year-old now, so we do a little program for two year-old," said Hale.

Hale explained that besides on-site child services NEKCA also has outreach services. "So families in crisis can get services they need," said Hale. According to Hale, NEKCA also provides worksite and training programs so people can get their GED or diploma.