Educare Central Maine hosts first clothing swap since the pandemic

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 4:41 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Educare Central Maine returns to their clothing swap program, the first one since the pandemic.

“It started out with some parents that were looking for items and asking their family services coordinator if they knew anybody that had anything, whether it be children’s jackets or boots,” Nicole Hinkel said.

That’s when Nicole Hinkel, family services supervisor at Educare said they noticed a need. This year, the clothing swap started Thursday last week and included toys for the kids.

“Parents were really excited, we had an overabundance of donations, we put some boxes out in our entry way and families were just bringing bags and bags of clothes,” she said.

They also received donations from the Mid-Coast Kids Consignment Shop in Brunswick. Expecting mother, Rajel Hippler said the free clothing she received will save her at least a thousand dollars.

“Each kid that I have had gets more expensive because of inflation at this point. So, having somewhere to go where things are free and I can just take them. I ended up with six bags of clothes and a shopping cart cover actually, things that I would not normally think of but it’s cool to have,” Hippler said.

Hippler said she does her part in giving back her daughters gently used clothes.

“I really just think its important to know that no matter where you are in your cycle right now, you still have people that are there for you,” said Hippler.

People like parents from the Educare Family Alliance, Katie Hughes said they always come together to help out with programs like these.

“We know clothes are expensive, and kids do grow through clothing really fast so this is another way. Like a give and take, that’s what makes a really tight knit community, is when parents can come together and support each other,” Hughes, family services coordinator at Educare said.

The three day event ends Monday. Hinkel said they plan to donate the left over clothes to pay it forward.

“At the end of today, we are going to box everything up and reach out to churches and some clothing closets to see if they can reach out to the community to see if there are some people who can utilize a lot of these clothes,” Hinkel said.