New clothes make a world of difference in a kids life - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New clothes make a world of difference in a kids life


Each year there are hundreds of kids in Southern Illinois who must go to school wearing the same clothes day after day.

But, there is one organization that is trying to change that for some kids.

The Folwer-Bonan Foundation is into their eighth year of raising funds to buy clothes for kids.

"And the feedback we've had from the schools and the teachers when a child comes into a class for the first time maybe in their life, wearing new shoes and new clothes, the smile on their face is what continues to make us work harder to do what we're doing," said Dale Fowler co-founder of the Fowler-Bonan Foundation.

The kids are selected by their teachers. And then those names are forwarded onto the foundation.

It may seem like a simple item, but new clothes can make a big difference in a kids life.

"I used to work as a teacher in the Cairo School District where there's a high poverty level," said Terri Hammond at Rustle Hill Winery. "And I saw first hand what it can be like for kids that really don't feel like they have anything to call their own. It really does do a lot of damage to their self-esteem."

That's why the winery teamed up with the foundation on Sunday afternoon to raise funds for kids who might other wise have no new clothes to wear to school, or anywhere else.

"There were a couple of kids who used to ride the bus with me, when I was kid, "said Fowler. "And I remember how they were treated by the children at school. I got to know the kids and they were good kids. But they were made fun of all the time. None of the kids wanted to be around them because they were dirty. And their clothes weren't very nice. That has been imbedded in me all my life."

Which is why Fowler is doing what he can for kids in Southern Illinois today, that he couldn't do for kids when he was younger.

"We as a foundation don't even know the kids were helping. And it doesn't matter to us, kids are kids," Fowler said.

And if you'd like to learn more about how you can help Fowler and his foundation help kids here in Southern Illinois just go to their website at

Currently they're reaching out to kids in ten counties here in Southern Illinois.

And this year they'll help more than four hundred kids to have new clothes, shoes and a winter coat to wear to school this year.

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