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Kids given back-to-school items on Skid Row

October 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A special back-to-school giveaway is giving help and hope to thousands of children on downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row.About 5,000 low-income children are getting school supplies, new shoes, and a hot lunch at the 22nd annual back-to-school giveaway at the Fred Jordan Missions.

The event will go on throughout the day on Thursday, until all the shoes and clothes are given away. For some of the kids, this is the first time they're getting the new items. The shoes from Foot Locker are a big deal.

"The important thing is shoes for back-to-school and clothes--it always helps to have extra clothing," said Yolanda Jenkins, a parent.

Organizers said that this year the need is even bigger, because many parents are struggling to make ends meet in this economy.

That same struggle holds true for Fred Jordan Missions, which has been helping those in need since 1944. Organizers said donations are down nearly 40 percent, and it's affecting the clothing drive.

"This year, for the first time, we don't have nearly enough. We're probably over 3,000 pairs short for jeans for the kids," said Willie Jordan of the mission.

"I got some new shoes, and some new clothes and a new backpack," said 8-year-old Lizbeth Ochoa.

In addition to the clothes and supplies, the kids also got makeovers, because volunteers provided free haircuts.


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