Group holds up signs celebrating 100,000 clothing donation.
A member of the Denver South High Newcomers recently took home the 100,000th school wardrobe provided free-of-charge by nonprofit Clothes To Kids of Denver. The Newcomers include recent immigrants and refugees from all over the world. Credit: Courtesy Clothes To Kids of Denver

Clothes To Kids of Denver celebrated two milestones in September — its 15-year anniversary and its 100,000th school wardrobe donation.

Clothes To Kids of Denver is a nonprofit that provides free school wardrobes to youth ages 3-21 from low-income or in-crisis families throughout the entire Denver metro area. Each school wardrobe consists of five outfits, a pair of shoes, five pairs each of new underwear and socks, and a coat or jacket. School uniforms and a variety of extras – such as accessories and school supplies – also are available to students.

The nonprofit was founded in 2008 after Gail Cerny, a school volunteer, visited the Clothes to Kids in Florida, which was founded in 2002. Cerny joined forces with Joyce Meyers, Lesa Butler and Mary Overington to open one in Denver, which is located at 2890 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver.

The 100,000th wardrobe went to a member of the Denver South High Newcomers, a group of recent immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

“Not having adequate school clothing can be a major barrier to school attendance and achievement,” said Valerie Lunka, Clothes To Kids executive director, in a news release. “Clothing that is badly worn or out-of-style can damage a child’s self-esteem and lead to bullying by other students. Our vision is that all students will have the clothing they need to feel comfortable, confident and prepared to thrive.”

To learn more about Clothes To Kids of Denver, including referral, donation and volunteer information, visit

Christy Steadman is the editor of the Washington Park Profile, Life on Capitol Hill and Denver Herald newspapers. She started with Colorado Community Media in 2014, and as a reporter, covered Highlands...

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