Kiwanis event provides children with clothing

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — Jared Edgerton was eager to help his daughter Melodee Edgerton find some new clothes in the juniors section at Target today  during the annual Clothes for Kids event.

Melodee Edgerton, 10, left, and her dad, Jared Edgerton, center, talk with Brian Turner of the Rio del Sol Kiwanis Club before getting new clothes on Thursday at Target.

The Bloomfield family was looking for new boots, along with shirts and pants for Melodee Edgerton to keep warm during the winter.

“She’s growing like crazy,” Jared Egerton said about his 10-year-old daughter.

The annual event hosted by the Rio Del Sol Kiwanis Club provides a $100 gift card for San Juan County families to purchase clothes for their children and volunteers help the families shop around the store. About 342 children were invited to attend the event, according to event chairwoman Glenda Fox.

It was harder to raise money for the event this year, Fox said, but the club was able to use cash reserves to help the same number of children it helped last year. Club members also host events like Dining with the Dead during the year to raise funds for their programs.

Anton Wilson, 8, tries to decide between two new shirts on Thursday during the Clothes for Kids event at Target.

Fox cited the decline of the oil and gas industry as a factor in the drop in funding.

“This year, we were really lucky. We have money left over from previous years,” Fox said. “But next year will be harder.”

Jared Edgerton was very appreciative of the event. He said it was helpful to buy Melodee Edgerton a bunch of new clothes at one time rather than spreading out purchases across paychecks.

“It helps a lot of people who can’t afford to do it,” Edgerton said about the event.

The Yellowhair family waits in line before shopping for new clothes on Thursday during the Clothes for Kids event at Target.

Donovan Yellowhair was flanked by his nine children while waiting in line near the entrance of Target. Four of the nine children were selected to attend the event. Yellowhair said the event helps the family as they work to get all the children taken care of.

“I think It’s a good thing,” Yellowhair said.

Participating children were split between two nights. On Wednesday evening, children from the Aztec and Farmington school districts attended the event. A few Farmington children, along with students from Bloomfield and the Central Consolidated School District, were escorted around the Target today.

Fox estimated that about 80 volunteers from area businesses, organizations and school clubs were on hand Wednesday night.

Volunteer Andrea Felix, left, helps Wyatt Bradshaw, 7, pick out clothes on Thursday during the Clothes for Kids event at Target while Wyatt's grandfather Roger Bradshaw watches.

It was the first time for Andrea Felix and Rob Bradshaw from WPX Energy to volunteer. A member of the Kiwanis Club contacted Felix about volunteering, and she took the idea up to the company's management. She and Bradshaw volunteered Wednesday and returned today to help out again.

“It’s a way to engage the community as a whole and not just certain aspects,” Felix said.

Felix said WPX Energy was looking for ways to reach out and support community members in need, given the current state of the economy.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.