New Clothes = New Beginnings
As our signature event, this annual distribution is what most people think of when they hear the words “Back to School Clothing Drive.” For five days each July approximately 5,000 students from more than 140 schools come to Grand Canyon University for a back-to-school “shopping spree!”
The students, who are pre-registered by their school administrators based on need, each get a volunteer “personal shopper” who guides them through the various departments and helps them pick out two pairs of shorts, two polo shirts, one sweatshirt, one belt, three pairs of socks and underwear, one pair of shoes, and a backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies. But that’s not all! They also get a personal care pack and health screenings, and they end their day picking out books and a hand-crafted item made by one of our Stitches of Love volunteers.
It takes more than 2,500 volunteers to set up, execute, and tear down this event each year and we never have a shortage! In fact, we’re routinely told by our corporate volunteer coordinators and our civic organization leaders that “New Clothes = New Beginnings” is the most requested volunteer opportunity they offer.
Even though we had to make adjustments in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, we utilized drive-through events, coupled with shipping items directly to schools, to deliver everything the students needed. We’re excited to be back in-person at Grand Canyon University, July 18-22, 2022!