'Operation Blue Jeans' gives low-income kids clothes, asks them to 'pay it forward'

'Operation Blue Jeans' underway

ABILENE, Texas - Operation Blue Jeans is in full swing! Low-income children are offered new clothes, but this year, the Christian Service Center is asking kids to pay it forward.

The program has been helping children receive new clothing for school since the late 1960s.

"We know there's a great need among families that are just struggling financially and we want to give a very positive start to school for these kids and their families," said Jim Clark, Director of the Christian Service Center.

Children of families who qualify for the program will receive five pairs of underwear and socks and a brand-new pair of jeans.

"Brand-new jeans makes the kids feel more special and they have something that they can go to school in on the first day that's new and something that they have owned themselves," said volunteer Melody Loveland.

This year, the ministry is starting something new: In exchange for clothes, families are asked to bring a canned good or some hygiene items for the ministry's pantry.

"We're trying to practice what we call 'responsible charity,'" Clark said. "We want people to receive things, but we also want them to give back. As they are being blessed, then they can pay it forward and bless others."

Last year, more than 300 children received new clothes.

The community can help this program by donating clothes and backpacks, as well as giving financial gifts.

You have to make an appointment before arriving in order to receive the clothes.

You can contact the Christian Service Center at 325-673-7531.

The Christian Service Center is located at 901 Mesquite St.

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