RENO, NV - The Reno Rodeo Foundation kicked off its annual Denim Drive at 140 locations in 13 northern Nevada counties Wednesday. It's collecting new jeans, socks and underwear for children in protective custody and foster care.
"There are a lot of people that have needs during the holiday season, but when you start looking at young people who have been abused and neglected, showing them the community cares, it really makes a difference," Reno Rodeo Foundation Executive Director Marie Baxter said. "These children haven't had a lot of love and care in their lives, so this gift means the world to them and we appreciate everyone's support."
Donations came pouring in at the Papa Murphy's location on Mae Anne and McCarran Wednesday night. The bin overflowed with clothing and the walls are filling up with the names of those who gave cash donations. The foundation raises tens of thousands of dollars to buy additional clothes; they distribute them year-round.
"When you walk in and see these kids getting clothing you can't help but be emotional about it," Washoe County Social Services Director Kevin Schiller said. "At Christmas, everybody focuses on charitable issues, but the Denim Drive is 365 days a year. These distributions happen regularly and I can't express enough what this does for the kids."
All the donations stay in the county they're donated in. In Fernley, the High School Rodeo Club rallied behind the cause.
"We got an e-mail from the Reno Rodeo Foundation this morning and decided helping out would be a good thing," Fernley High School Rodeo Club President Kylie Hargett said. "They always support us so we though we'd do the same and support them. I feel like we helped out the community and it's definitely something good for the club to do."
Bins will be out until December 16th at Papa Murphy's, McDonald's, Nevada State Bank and Scolari's Supermarkets throughout northern Nevada.
For another way to help, local foster youth artists created beautiful, fun and quirky jackets with the help of local media personalities.
You can show your support for the Reno Rodeo Denim Drive by purchasing one of these jackets on eBay.
The designs of each jacket are one-of-a-kind. KOLO 8's Rebecca Kitchen, Terri Russell and Sarah Johns took part in this.
The auctions will close on December 13th. All profits will be used to buy new clothes for abused and neglected children who are living in foster homes.