Non-profit helps foster kids go back to school in 'style'

Foster kids go back to school shopping

AUSTIN - Back to school shopping can be expensive and not everyone can afford it, especially those less fortunate.

That's why the non-profit organization Together We Rise teamed up with Rue 21 to provide brand-new, free clothes for foster kids in the Austin area.

Like a lot of teenagers, Dania Majia, 17, will be heading back to high school with some new clothes.

"I picked out a hat, dress, two shorts and earrings," Majia said.  

The items are from Rue 21, but they weren't purchased at the store.
Instead, Majia picked them up at the Together We Rise Summer Clothing Tour.

"Today we invited 100 kids in foster care to come out and go back to school shopping," Together We Rise founder Danny Mendoza said. "It's all completely free."

Together We Rise hosts events like this all over the country. This year the organization is hoping to provide free wardrobes to 1,500 kids. Angel Rocha was one of the first kids in line Wednesday afternoon.

"I was really excited and ready to get some clothes," Rocha said. 

Each kid got to pick out about seven items. Rocha picked out some shorts, shirts and hats.

"The main thing that was really good was the hats," Rocha said. 

Raquel Garcia was excited about the rompers.

"I really liked it," Garcia said. 

Area foster agencies selected the 100 foster kids who attended today's event. Mejia was picked because of her circumstances.

"I'm in a shelter where other Moms are living," Mejia said. 

For several months, she's been trying to make things work with her one-year-old baby girl after a rough patch in her life.

"I put my baby first," Mejia said. "I buy everything for my baby and I prefer her to have more things than me"

Finances for Meija are tight, so an opportunity to shop and be styled for free is a blessing and a confidence booster.

"It shows them that they're not alone and they can do it," Mendoza said. "It kind of reenergizes them again to keep doing what they're doing."

"I'm so glad that they did this because of our situation," Meija said.

Every situation is different, but these kids all have one in common. They'll be heading back to school in style.

To learn more about how Together We Rise is helping kids in foster care, click here.

(© 2017 KVUE)


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