RAPID CITY, S.D. – With the rising prices of everything from gas to food, shopping for new school clothes for this fall may not be a reality for many families. For the last 20 years, Love In The Name of Christ (Love INC) has been providing a way for children in need to have an opportunity to start the school year with new clothes.

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Photo courtesy of Love INC of the Black Hills website

Love INC is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to change lives in our community.

Started in 2001, the vision of Love INC is to walk alongside people on their journey to wholeness. This is achieved by being a bridge between people in need and gaps in offered services in the Black Hills area.

Clothe-A-Kid is a one gap ministry that provides families in need an opportunity to earn new school clothes for their children that might otherwise go without.

Sheryl Hatch, Operations Manager, explains, “We are signing up kids for our Clothe-A-Kid for school program which is a program for kids kindergarten through eighth grade. They can come and sign up for clothing for school.”

Signups are currently being held at Bethel Church at 1202 N Maple Avenue (on the corner of Maple and Anamosa) on June 2 and June 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Children must be born between August 31, 2008 and September 1, 2017.

Proof of the child’s birthdate is required. You can bring a birth certificate, tribal ID cards, shot records or Title 19 cards as documents.

Love INC’s goal is to build relationships with the people that they serve. One way they do this is by offering to pray with the families during sign-up or by taking prayer requests. The prayer requests are shared with Love INC’s prayer partners and the families are prayed for throughout the summer.

Another way they do this is by waiving the $10 participation fee and instead asking the participants to get involved in an activity that will provide them a chance to learn, grow and better their lives. There is no fee to participate.

Participants have four choices to participate:

Option 1: Attend the 2022 Life INC Summer Series. This is an eight-session series that offers classes on a variety of subjects to help people address life issues in a supportive environment. Classes are held every Tuesday from June 7 through July 26 at First Presbyterian Church.

The series schedule is:

  • June 7 : County Before Country: Learning to love your neighbors
  • June 14 : Walking Through Life With Others: Mentorship
  • June 21: Mental Health Awareness
  • June 28: Car Maintenance: Taking care of your car
  • July 5: Current Trends in Internet Crimes Against Children: What is really going on with our kids online
  • July 12: Side Hustle: Build Wealth Outside Your Day Job: Small business entrepreneur’s panel
  • July 19: Financial Checkup
  • July 26: Building and Maintaining Relationships with Young Adults

Option 2: Attend Faith and Finances. This class will help you see God’s provision as you gain tools to financially flourish. This class runs from June 7 through July 26. You must attend all eight classes and graduate to earn for Clothe-A-Kid.

Option 3: Love Rapid City: Complete eight hours of community outreach by participating with Fountain Springs Church in their Love Your Neighbor week. This is a chance for you to connect with others while helping out our own community. Love Your Neighbor week is June 12 through June 18.

Option 4: Attend a Vacation Bible School.

  • Zion Lutheran Church: 9 a.m. to noon, June 6 – June 10
  • RC First United Methodist Church: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., June 5 – June 8
  • Peace Lutheran Church: 5:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., June 13 – June 17
  • Landmark Community Church: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., June 13 – June 17

Hatch says, “We couldn’t do this without our partnering churches.”

The Clothe-A-Kid leadership board is comprised of volunteers from local churches, as well as, the volunteer coordinators.

Local churches donate the majority of the funds needed to help clothe the children in need. It costs about $100 per child in order to for this program to work. Love INC currently works with 34 local churches to raise money for this undertaking.

As an individual there is also ways you can help. You can present the Clothe-A-Kid mission to your church and ask for your congregation to get involved.

Secondly, you can individually sponsor a child by donating money. You can donate by clicking here. Please specify that the money is for Clothe-A-Kid (CAK) in the note section online or in the memo line if you are mailing a check.

Lastly, you can sign up to be a shopper in August. Love INC partners with Kohl’s to provide a chance for kids to pick out the clothes that will fit them best.

Shoppers are partnered with a family to help the student be able to start the school year feeling confident. The shopping dates are August 13 and August 20 from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. If you wish to sign up to volunteer, you can click here.

One of Hatch’s favorite Clothe-A-Kid stories is about a grandma that is helping raise her grandchildren.

Hatch says, “I am just always so thankful that we can help grandmas that are raising kids. We have one that has 10 kids. It’s always exciting to just be able to encourage her and walk beside her and help her.”

Clothe-A-Kid amplifies the values of Love INC that:

  • You are loved
  • You belong
  • You have choices
  • You have something to offer

Hatch is very proud of this ministry and all the ways it helps families in the Black Hills community.

She explains, “We just find it really exciting to have the opportunity to walk alongside people in the our community that can’t afford the clothing and we see that families that really do need help can come and sign up.”

For more information about Love INC and Clothe-A-Kid, visit their website here.