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Paying it forward

By LEANA CHOATE - lchoate@newsexaminer.com

A former single mom who knows from experience how hard it can sometimes be to get school clothes for the children is looking for donations of clothing to give to others. This will be the seventh year Renee Lephew and her husband, Allen Lephew, have given out clothing.

Renee Lephew is a stay-at-home mother who was once a single mom, struggling when school would start for her children. 

“I saw a bunch of parents struggling to make it around school time and I wanted to help them and pay it forward,” she said.

“We want to encourage people to help those other people who are down. When people are struggling and are down like that, they need someone kind to help them up,” Allen Lephew said.

The Lephews gather donated clothing and then sort through them before giving them out to students.

“It all used to be done from our home,” Allen Lephew said. “My garage has been disheveled.”

Now, the Lephews sort through all the clothes they receive at home and then take them to a building that has been donated to them to use to disburse the clothes to families. 

The Lephews prefer not to take cash donations.

“If people just want to donate money, that’s OK, but we would prefer they take that money and go buy socks or underwear and donate that,” Allen Lephew said.

Renee Lephew is taking clothing donations until Friday, July 19. Anything can be donated, but the Lephews want to acquire more jackets, coats, jeans, pants, shirts of all kinds and sizes, undergarments, socks, shoes and hangers.

“It’s been an emotional seven years,” Allen Lephew said on behalf of Renee. “We’ve had and seen people say that it’s the nicest thing anyone has done for them and their kids. I’ve had people come into work and say, ‘Hey, I know you, you helped my kids.’ We’re very blessed.”

Donations can be dropped off at 927 Meyer Road. Anyone with questions on drop offs or who wants to help the Lephews can Facebook message Renee Lephew, text or call her at 765-580-8124.