Local mom’s project aimed to get every child a new outfit to start school

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IDAHO FALLS — A local mom who had the idea to provide children with back-to-school outfits is hoping to have another successful year of serving those in the community.

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Marissa Williams is a mother of five and lives in Idaho Falls. Project Fresh New FeelingIn 2019. The project — which is based on volunteers — is dedicated to giving children ages 4 to 17 two brand-new outfits, underwear, socks and shoes to start the new school year. Williams knows it’s not necessary to have new clothes for school, but she believes a new outfit gives children a boost of confidence.

Local mom asks for help from the community to get back-to school outfits for her children

“As it grows bigger and bigger, I’m humbled by the fact this small idea became something so big,”Williams spoke to EastIdahoNews.com “It’s a big job but I enjoy it every year.”

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Local mom asks for help from the community to provide back-to school outfits for her children

The community helped raise $600 to help 20 children and provide support for the project’s first year. In 2020, the project raised approximately $1,200. 23 sponsors contributed clothing and 65 children received items. Last year, the numbers grew to $4,500. 33 sponsors participated, and 140 children received clothes.

“It would be awesome to double that 140 number (this year),”She explained. “I don’t know if that’s possible but I would love to do that.”

Williams stated that the project is open to students from all over Idaho. Last year, clothing was given to children from New York and Oregon.

“Originally, my goal was to keep it to east Idaho but then I was like if we can go bigger, we’ll go bigger,”Williams said.

Project Fresh New Feeling logo | Courtesy Marissa Williams

Spearheading the project has touched Williams as she’s realized how many people want to give to others but need an opportunity to do so.

She remembers a 89 year-old man who gave her money last year to help her with the project. He explained to her that there was a boy in his grade who wore the same outfit all year while he was in school. He recalled wishing he could have bought him a new outfit and that he wanted to dedicate his check to that little boy.

“The fact that … he found the connection to this project from back when he was in school as an elementary school kid that many years ago, I was like this project means a lot to the people who are donating and the people who are receiving,”Williams said. “It turns out every year to be more than I expected and even better than I thought.”

There are four ways that people can get involved in the project:

  • Click hereTo nominate a child in crisis, ages 4-17
  • Send monetary donations via Venmo that will help pay for students’ outfits by clicking here. All proceeds go to the project.
  • View the requirements to sponsor a child or click here to sponsor one. click here.
  • To be a “shopper”Williams can be reached on the Facebook page to help purchase items for students.

Nominations must be submitted by August 3, and sponsorship shopping must be completed by August 10.

Our attorneys advise us to include this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers. EastIdahoNews.com cannot guarantee that the money deposited into the account will be used for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

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