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March came in like Santa Claus for Catholic Community Service.
The nonprofit social services agency had the pleasure of bringing in and sending out 168 boxes of children's clothing for families in need Tuesday, Executive Director Rosemary Hagevig said.
"It's all brand new, brand-name clothing," she said, "baby clothes to size 16."
"It's a nice assortment for kids," said Helen Kalk, program director for child care and family resources. She could only guess how much help the gift will do.
She said that while packing the clothing up, she "guesstimated" that it could touch 400 families in Southeast Alaska.
The donation came to Alaska via the Anchorage-based Rasmussen Foundation, a private foundation that supports nonprofit organizations throughout the state.
The clothes were part of a national program collecting clothes from retail and wholesale companies and distributing them throughout the country.
Hagevig said the clothes going to Alaska was taken by railroad to Seattle, and the Rasmussen Foundation arranged to bring it up to distribute. Catholic Community Service is distributing the clothes going to Southeast Alaska, she added.
That included Juneau Youth Services, Tlingit-Haida Head Start, the AWARE shelter, REACH Inc., Alaska Office of Children's Services and all of the Catholic Community Service Programs, Hagevig and Kalk explained.
Some of the clothing has been packed up to be taken out later to outlying communities, such as Angoon and Hoonah.
Hagevig said some individual foster families were called in Tuesday to pick up clothing. Donating clothing for foster families is important because foster children sometimes have to leave their homes under circumstances that give the notice necessary to take much with them.
She said many of the people getting the new clothes aren't at all accustomed to new things, making it more special for them.
Tony Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.