BUTTE — Many of Butte’s students live in poverty, and don’t have decent clothes to wear to class.
The school district wants to change that with a new store in the mall that will give away clothing and hygiene supplies to needy students.
“I’m really excited to get it going, and hopefully we can make a positive difference in our kids’ lives,” said Butte Curriculum Director Jim O’Neill.
The district will soon open Bulldog Outfitters store in the mall to give away donated clothes and personal care products to all K through 12 students. It’s modeled after a similar store in Kalispell called the Heart Locker.
“We want it to be a cool place for our kids, we want it to be more of a boutique-style place,” said O’Neill.
Many volunteers are donating time and supplies to help get the store going within the next month.
“There’s no place on the planet like Butte when it comes to supporting one another, and because of that we know this place will be a hit in the community and help our kids,” said O’Neill.
Educators have found some students will actually skip school out of shame and embarrassment for the way they look, so they hope this program will give the students more confidence and improve their attendance.
“I had those students who wore the same thing to school day after day, and that can be embarrassing for kids at times and it’s not their fault, and it you have something nice to wear to school every day, you’re going to feel good about yourself and you’re going to want to come to school,” said O’Neill.
The store plans to be open Tuesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.