SAN ANTONIO — There are many drives underway around town to supply kids with most of what they need to go back to school.
But there is one unmet need that Northside ISD hopes to start addressing next week.
When teachers and staff return for Convocation next week, they are being asked to participate in the "Fill The Bin" campaign.
It is an effort to bring in brand new socks and underwear for the district's free clothes closet.
"Threads" has been in operation since 2018.
The facility, which is housed at 5223 Blessing at the Northside Family Engagement Center, is an effort to reduce barriers and increase attendance by helping students have the clothes and shoes they need to be comfortable and focused on learning.
It is a simple process.
Needy families are identified by school counselors and given a referral which allows them to 'shop' for items they need for free.
Every child enrolled in NISD is allowed to select 5 tops and 5 bottoms, as well as socks and underwear.
The center is staffed by volunteers and they accept donations of gently used clothes. There are laundry services on site to make sure every item is ready for use.
Edgewood ISD has a similar program at 216 Purcell. Kym's Kupboard is administered by local non-profit Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach.
JonDavid De Leon said the need for donations is great throughout the year.
"We just gave six backpacks to a family in need and the mother was so appreciative. 'You don't know how much we needed this'," De Leon said.
De Leon said they solicit donations of gently used clothing and shoes, but when it comes to personal items, they welcome new items, or the funds to purchase them.
"We want new items, socks and underwear, because the kids, the families deserve the best. We look at it here as what we would give to our family. Could I give this to someone else? So let's give the best. Let's let the kids have a great school year," De Leon said.
De Leon said they serve many immigrant families who are starting from scratch and have next to nothing - but gratitude.
"We make hygiene packs here. We put toothpaste, a toothbrush, even a razor for adults. We have products for women, shampoo, soap and those kinds of items. We load as much as we can as a hygiene bag for them," De Leon said.
De Leon said they know San Antonians will come through for local needy families.
"San Antonians give big, so let's help the families. Let's help the kids. All ages elementary, middle school, high school. New underwear, new socks, new items for them to enjoy."
Here is a partial list of local districts offering help with essential items for a happy new school year.