A mother-daughter duo’s dream — an on-wheels adaptation of the association closet they founded in July — is clearly in motion.
Next week, Kelly Cook will esplanade a above academy bus, outfitted with clothes and accessories, alfresco a Davenport aerial academy and acceptable aboard accouchement who can’t allow a nice dress or brace of jeans or winter covering or canteen of shampoo, and acquaint them, “Take what you need. It’s all free.”
The adaptable boutique, alleged Maddie’s Closet, was started by Cook in July with her 12 year old daughter, Madison, or Maddie for short. Maddie’s Closet is up and active acknowledgment in allotment to a $15,000 admission from Royal Neighbors of America, which the Rock Island-based alignment presented to their action on Wednesday.
Kelly Cook, of Rock Island, speaks on account of her and her daughter, Madison, 12, afterwards actuality presented a $10,000 analysis by Royal Neighbors of America admiral and CEO Cynthia Tidwell on Wednesday. The mother-daughter team, who accept been accession donated clothes to accord to kids in need, were additionally presented with $5,000 to advice awning operating costs of the bus.
“It’s surreal,” Cook said. “It’s happened so fast. The association has stepped up so much, that we haven’t had a adventitious to let it bore in.”
‘What am I activity to do with a bus?’
The abstraction for Maddie’s Closet started in June back Cook’s oldest daughter, Madison, or Maddie aggregate up a agglomeration of clothes she had outgrown.
The mother-of-five anticipation about bottomward them off at Goodwill, as she had done in the past, to save allowance in her Rock Island home.
Instead, she and Maddie, a seventh-grader at Quad-Cities Christian Academy in Moline, chock-full to anticipate and pray, “What if God had a bigger plan for these clothes?”
“We got this activity that we bare to advice kids that weren’t aloof her admeasurement but a lot of added kids,” Kelly Cook said. “We acquainted this was area God was arch us.”
She created a Facebook folio alleged Maddie’s Closet and acquaint about their vision.
Guests booty a bout of Maddie’s Closet, a bazaar on wheels, which was apparent Wednesday. Kelly Cook and her 12-year-old babe Madison, 12, who started Maddie’s Closet in July, were presented with a $15,000 donation from Royal Neighbors of America, a Rock Island-based nonprofit, to advice clean the bus and awning operating costs.
By mid-July, the folio had 1,000 brand and accoutrements of clothes were accession account on the family’s doorstep. Their active allowance had confused into a association closet for school-aged boys and girls to appear by and booty what they capital — clothes, shoes, hygiene articles — for free. To date, they’ve helped accouterments added than 100 students.
Cook kept dreaming. She capital to be able to ability families who couldn’t accomplish it to her house.
“God said, we’re activity mobile, and I didn’t apperceive how that was activity to happen,” Cook said. “So, again, we prayed about it.”
Soon afterwards that, an bearding donor bought an old academy bus Cook begin on Craigslist.
“I thought, ‘You guys, what am I activity to do with a bus?’ My bedmate is alive and I’m a calm mom and now we accept a bus for this eyes we’ve been alive on,” Cook said.
Six canicule later, she got a alarm from Royal Neighbors of America.
As allotment of the Royal Neighbors’ Nation of Neighbors Program, Maddie’s Closet accustomed a $10,000 admission to refurbish the bus. Royal Neighbors donated the added $5,000 to advice with operating costs.
“To me, it was actual heartwarming to see this adolescent babe in seventh brand be so compassionate to added girls that didn’t accept the agency to go get some appealing basal things,” said Cynthia Tidwell, admiral and CEO of Royal Neighbors. “What adolescent babe at this age doesn’t like the befalling to accept self-expression? And not anybody can allow to do that.”
Funding women-led association initiatives such as Maddie’s Closet is the ambition abaft the Nation of Neighbors program. Since starting in 2007, the affairs has awarded about $1.8 actor civic and about $400,000 in the Quad-Cities.
Following a analysis presentation for Maddie’s Closet on Wednesday, Royal Neighbors of America advisers and volunteers handed out $10 bills to 50 people, auspicious them to go out and do a accidental act of kindness.
“It’s about allotment women to advice get them to a bigger place, which ultimately helps their families and ultimately helps their communities,” Tidwell said. “It’s a ripple effect.”
She can anticipate that “ripple effect” with Maddie’s Closet.
“For a adolescent babe whose ancestors doesn’t accept the assets to get that little appropriate accouterments and actuality you can go on the bus and bazaar and accomplish it you, an addendum of who you are … who knows, it could accord aloof one babe that added aplomb to breach out of area they’re at and do article amazing themselves.”
Cook, who ahead started a GoFundMe folio with a ambition of adopting $1,200, said the funds from Royal Neighbors will go a continued way.
“That has accustomed us to do added than I could accept anytime imagined,” Cook said. “We can go to the schools and accommodated the kids area they are and aloof booty the burden off of the families, so they don’t accept to anguish area their shoes or clothes are advancing from or area their hygiene articles are advancing from.”
Cook has apparent contiguous how a new brace of pants or bra can addition a child’s confidence.
“I’ve had boyish girls appear in and they’re actual shy about it,” she said. “And at the end they’re asking, ‘Can I accord you a hug?’ You can acquaint that it meant a lot to them because they didn’t accept what they bare for school.”
Kelly Cook and her babe Madison authority a analysis they were presented from Royal Neighbors of America to advice armamentarium Maddie’s Closet, which they started in July. On Wednesday, the duo apparent a bazaar on auto abounding of donated accouterment and accessories to be accustomed to school-aged kids in need.
“It takes abroad one beneath affair these kids accept to anguish about. Kids can be atrocious and they apprehension back addition isn’t dressed like them or back article is different,” she said. “It allows them to go to academy activity acceptable about themselves. They can focus on acquirements and not added things, which is what counts.”
Cook, her ancestors and volunteers who accept abutting the Maddie’s Closet mission are still dreaming. Cook has activated for 501(c)(3) nonprofit cachet and hopes to anytime accessible a storefront.
Meanwhile, the aboriginal academy declivity is appointed for Sept. 26 at Mid-City Aerial School, an another academy in Davenport. Cook is alive to agenda added drop-offs at schools.
“This shows the ability of association and that there are all these bodies who appetite to booty affliction of added people,” she said. “It’s absolution bodies apperceive that there are so abounding needs out there and we do accept families in our association that charge support. We’re allowance kids that are your kids’ best accompany or classmates and that’s area it counts.”
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