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home : news : local   November 25, 2015

3/27/2014 6:25:00 AM
Kids outgrowing clothes? Moms set up 'clothing swap'

Corrie Sparling and Diana Hockenson, with a lot of help from the Methodist church in Mendota are trying to help other families cut costs.NewsTribune photo/Tamara Abbey
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Corrie Sparling and Diana Hockenson, with a lot of help from the Methodist church in Mendota are trying to help other families cut costs.
NewsTribune photo/Tamara Abbey
Craig Sterrett
News Editor

MENDOTA — Moms know how fast children can outgrow their clothes, and two Mendota women are setting up a charity to help moms and dads swap out duds that don’t fit for nice items that do.

“A Friend in Need — The Illinois Valley Children’s Clothing Swap” will have another event 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 28-29 in the Memorial Building of First United Methodist Church, 100 E. Sixth St., Mendota, said Corrie Sparling of Mendota.

Sparling said she and Diana Hockenson had a clothing swap in January and another in February, helping about 25-30 families. She said the turnout was good, considering she was only posting fliers on bulletin boards and items on Facebook, and considering subzero temperatures kept a lot of people at home.

Here’s how it works:

“People bring the clothes that their kids have outgrown and trade it for clothing that fits them,” she said.

Families are expected to bring in clothing in good shape and preferably clean (although Sparling often runs it through the wash and removes stains).

She currently has a limit of no more than 20 items per child, and if more is needed or a family has nothing available to trade, she can provide a bag of clothes for $2.

“I have had several people give me overwhelming donations,” she said, adding that she has had great support from the church.

“I don’t attend there. They have been very helpful. They’ve bent over backward for us, really,” Sparling said.

She got the idea because a friend of hers runs a clothing swap in Montgomery, Ill. She figures driving that far defeats the purpose of trying to save on clothing, and she thought it would be better to start one in her town. She said she is pursuing 501-(3c) nonprofit status.

More information is available on the group’s Facebook page.

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