On Monday, August 1, the Dressed for School and Brown Tire teams came together to draw the winning name for their Dressed for School Raffle. The moment may have simply been letting someone know they’ve won a new set of tires, but it ultimately allowed both teams to celebrate what has been an exciting and extremely meaningful partnership. Thanks to this partnership, many children in need will get a brand new wardrobe of clothing for the upcoming school year.
Every year Dressed for School provides two new wardrobes of clothing, one in the fall and one in the spring, completely free of charge to each student in need. Each child gets to pick out their own set of clothes, including five pairs of underwear, five pairs of socks, four bottoms, and five tops.
The best part is that Dressed for School puts together a cute little “store” for the kids to peruse and feel like they’re actually shopping for clothes. There are even little dressing rooms for them to try things on before they take them home. The program helps make getting clothes for school fun for kids in need rather than a stressor.
Todd Gazdich, the owner of Brown Tire, stumbled across the program by accident when he met his new neighbor Julie Douglas, one of the women in charge of the Dressed for School program. Gazdich had been looking for another opportunity to give back to the community, and after hearing a little bit about the program he immediately fell in love with it.
“The kids are innocent. Kids are just learning. They’re growing and to me, helping them get brand new clothes and letting them choose their style without the influence of their parents is huge.
They’re new clothes, and they’re good clothes, not stuff that will fall apart in the washing machine. So this program, I just couldn’t believe it,” said Gazdich.
The original Dressed for School donation goal was $2,500. Brown Tire helped raise $6,000 and then donated an extra $5,000 along with the new set of tires for the raffle. Brown Tire truly went above and beyond in helping out the Dressed for School program.
“I’ve been blessed with a business, and if I can help the community in any way, especially the kids, I’m going to do it,” said Gazdich.
Gazdich can’t wait for the kids to start coming and help them find some new clothes for the school year.
“I really want to find out when the bus is here with the kids. I just want to see their faces. I want to see their expressions,” said Gazdich.
This may only be the first year Brown Tire has partnered with Dressed for School, but the impact of this partnership has already been incredible. Luckily for the Valparaiso community, this partnership doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon.
“We’re hoping this will help them keep the program going. Maybe next year we can go even further. We’re definitely not going to stop with one year,” said Gazdich.
To learn more about the Dressed for School program and the incredible impact it has on the community visit, https://www.dressedforschool.org/. Also, to learn more about the Brown Tire team and how they strive to give back, visit https://browntire.com/.