Prairie Post (East Edition)

Redcliff school perimeter turned into pop up store: all clothing free

- By Ryan Dahlman

Nearly 200 people came to a three-hour clothing frenzy in Redcliff Sept. 24. It wasn’t at a business, but at the Redcliff Alternativ­e School (102 4 Street NE in Redcliff).

The clothes were free.

Scott Raible, a senior high school teacher at Eagle Butte created an initiative with the Prairie Rose Public Schools partnering with the Redcliff Schools called Roots and Wings where they “could help support students with clothing and food non perishable­s as needed.”

Roots and Wings collaborat­ed with MyCityCare Medicine Hat, another philanthro­pic, charitable group which tries to help the area’s most vulnerable. The group has pop-up stores occasional­ly and set up in a portion of the Medicine Hat Victory Lutheran Church on Southview Drive.

“MyCityCare Medicine Hat has been providing pop up free stores where individual­s and families can come and participat­e in accessing clothing as needed, and felt it would be a great way to partner and use our location at the Redcliff Alternativ­e School, especially as school as started and winter is not too far away, where individual­s and families can come and access free clothing without any stigma attached,” explained Raible. “Roots and Wings has partnered with the Redcliff Library and the Redcliff Youth Center as well the local Redcliff Schools and Lil Munchkins which have provided opportunit­ies for the community to donate clothing and food stuffs for the past several months. MyCityCare also brought the majority of clothing which they also receive through donations.”

Raible said approximat­ely 185 people came and accessed the free store last Saturday, between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. They received a lot of positive feedback in person and online, with many wanting to know when their next event will be. Raible added they also had several within the community once they heard about it, come and donate clothing of their own.

This is an important initiative and Sept. 24 was an important day for Raible. He knows what some of the patrons were going through and know how important an event like this can be for someone who is struggling.

“I know what is like to be impacted by economic barriers, and as a teacher and a member of the community I have seen how when the community at large helps provide supports for community members in need, it can truly change a life in such a powerful way and have lasting impacts far from what we can fathom,” explains the popular Eagle Butte teacher. “Over twenty years ago I came to Medicine Hat on a Greyhound with nothing more than a box and a garbage bag. Thanks to the support of community members in Medicine Hat, and the support freely offered, it changed the trajectory of my life. I hope to be able to act in a manner that also gives people opportunit­ies that positively affect their lives, and that of their families.”

While some of the parents were looking at clothes, Raible and his daughter Kat, helped looked after the young children who were there.

Raible adds Roots and Wings are looking to partner with MyCityCare for more free stores at the Redcliff Alternativ­e School in the future. They appreciate­d how MyCityCare “values and honours the dignity and worth of each person that comes to these events.” Every attempt is made to try and ensure that every person has the opportunit­y to find what they are looking for.

In the meantime, MyCityCare will be looking to open a free storefront sometime in October, where people can make appointmen­ts to access free clothing.

For ramble, it was a good feeling to see the joy in the people getting some much needed clothing as winter approachin­g and with money tight.

“We saw wonderful reactions from students, families, and community members. It was free for all, and Friar Tuck Food Truck even provided free meals to those who came<‘ explains Raible. “It was wonderful to watch families get good quality clothing in an atmosphere where people’s dignity was honoured and valued. From excited faces on children who discovered some new to them toys, or parents who were thankful to find winter clothing for their children, it was a very special experience.”

 ?? Photo by Scott Raible ?? The Roots and Wings and MyCityCare pop up Sept. 24 clothing event helped a lot of Redcliff families.
Photo by Scott Raible The Roots and Wings and MyCityCare pop up Sept. 24 clothing event helped a lot of Redcliff families.

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