Edmond nonprofit U R Special gives new clothing to more than 600 children
An Edmond nonprofit is working to foster self-esteem for Oklahoma’s children. With the help of more than 125 local volunteers, U R Special will distribute brand new clothing to more than 500 children at their annual spring distribution.
U R Special hosts three clothing distributions each year in the fall, winter and spring, during which volunteers distribute more than 2,000 outfits per year. The organization serves up to 100 new children at each distribution.
At the spring distribution, boys and girls receive socks, underwear, shorts and T-shirts. Boys receive name brand shoes and girls receive sandals. In addition, a special feature of the spring event is that girls receive a handmade dress. Volunteers help the children choose the outfits.
“Distribution is an exciting time and our three distributions are the culmination of all our efforts throughout the year,” said Edmond resident Dusty Somerville, a member of organization’s board of directors. “The satisfaction of knowing you have helped children who really need it is enormous.”
U R Special was founded in 1993 and has grown from serving 150 children a year to 650 children per distribution.
“The first time I took a little girl in the dress room to select her dress, she teared up, clasped her little hands and said, ‘Oh! I'm in dress heaven.’ I'll never forget the look on her face,” Amelia Lyle, one of the dress program designers, said. “That makes it all worthwhile. That's why we do this.”
U R Special serves children ages 3 to 9 who live in Edmond or go to Edmond Public Schools. Recipients for this season's distribution have already filled the available time slots to receive clothing.
U R Special’s goal is to serve children with compassion and love. The board of directors wants to serve the children and thus inspire them to serve others. The organization aims to help the children build positive self-esteem, healthy habits and relationships. To do that, volunteers address children by name, distribute in a way that is encouraging and allow children to choose their own clothes.
About U R Special
U R Special exists to foster self-esteem and healthy lifestyles in needy and at-risk children. The organization provides new, one-of-a-kind outfits for the children of Edmond, Oklahoma. One of the founders of U R Special saw how one dress given to a girl in need made her face light up. Staff and volunteers offer service and love to children and families without regard to religion, race or ethnic background.