El Paso County School Uniform Swap: Helps families in need

El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The community is coming together to help Borderland students get the schools supplies they need. Organizers with the 5th annual school uniform swap are asking for gently used uniforms and backpacks. Supplies that some families can't afford every year.

"Every kid wants to feel confident walking in on their first day of school,” Brando Duarte, a freshly graduated high school student explained. The young man has been volunteering with the El Paso County Lion's Club School Uniform Swap for the past five years. "I noticed that, um, it was helping out a lot of people, including myself."

It was an event that changed his wardrobe and his life. "And when you get it donated like we did, you know, it just helps around the house to buy any necessities that you need,” he said.

Duarte says when the swap was first organized in 2009, he saw the value in swapping outgrown clothes for uniforms that fit. "They're not necessarily new, but we try our best we go through every uniform to give them the best that we can."

Borderland stores and companies like National Self Storage are collecting gently used uniforms, backpacks and other school supplies students need to do their best in class. "Instead of having them in the closet then they don't fit the children, just bring them on in and we got other children that would be able to use them,” Luisa Langer, the Manager of National Self Storage explained.

A community driven effort -- which helped students like Duarte realize the value in not just what you wear, "It helped me value the things that I have and you know, who would have thought that uniforms make such a big difference,” he said. It showed him how coming together really helps lift the entire community.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers for the big swap day taking place on July 26th and they're also hoping for 100 t-shirt donations their volunteers will wear for the 26th.

Swap Day Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/432682446756713/