Volunteer helps students get new clothes, Serving Kids started in Nancy Hoffmaster's garage

Posted at 8:35 AM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 14:58:00-04
Getting new school clothes is exciting for most kids, but what if there's no money for new clothes?
"Parents unfortunately have to make choices sometimes between adequate clothing and school supplies and rent," said 7Everyday Hero Nancy Hoffmaster, Founder of Serving Kids. "We are a program that provides clothing for students in pre-school through high school."
The group provides a weeks worth of new or near-new clothing for any student in Jeffco Public Schools in need. Last school year, more than 25,000 pieces of clothing went to hundreds of students. 
"Last year, precisely, it was 1,325 students," said Hoffmaster. 
Not bad for an operation that started in Hoffmaster's garage.
"She has been the person who has held it together," said retired Jeffco Schools' principal, Luann Schwartz. 
Serving Kids has more than 30 volunteers, many of them retired principals who collectively give more than 2,000 hours of time. 
All of their work is done behind the scenes.
The group identifies student needs through school staff and Community and Family Connection Liaisons, since they already have a rapport with the students. 
"We always get reactions like it's Christmas.  They'll be really excited to open it and go through each item.  We've had kids who actually run into the next room to try on the new clothes right away," said Laura Monreal, Community & Family Connection Liaison. 
"I can see the love they pour on every task they have to do here," said Beatriz Monsalve, CFC Liaison. 
"They just do amazing work at Serving Kids and I'm so proud to be a part of it," said Oscar Fonseca, CFC Liaison. 
"We thrive on the stories that we hear of what it has meant to a mom or a child.  And that keeps us going," said Hoffmaster. 
It is more than a new pair of shoes or jeans, Serving Kids is about improving a student's self esteem, and their willingness to learn and succeed. 
"Because if kids don't feel good about going to school and how they look then they're going to first, struggle with wanting to be there,  and second of all, struggle with learning," said Schwartz. 
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.