Thanks to the efforts of a local charitable group, 53 less fortunate children got to go on $150 back to school clothes shopping sprees Sunday evening.
About 50 volunteers were on hand at JCPenney in Corbin, which closed its doors to the public at 6 p.m. but stayed open in order for the children to shop thanks to the efforts of The B Squad Project.
The B Squad Project President and Founder Shannon Barman noted that her cousin, Beth Davis, who is with Grace Christian Fellowship, recruited several volunteers, and several sponsors also turned out Sunday to help the children with their shopping.
“It is just awesome to see all these community members wanting to see who we are giving back to,” she added.
In addition to local volunteers and sponsors, the children also received a visit from several superheroes Sunday, including: Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Hulk, Captain America and Captain Marvel.
After their shopping sprees were complete, Barman said that each child was also given a backpack full of items, such as hygiene products, toilet paper, paper towels and so forth that will hopefully help get them through the first few weeks of school.
In addition, each student also received free socks and underwear, which didn’t count against their $150 shopping total.
“This way they will feel clean and have fresh new clothes. It is a positive start to the school year,” Barman noted.
Each of the B Squad’s projects are named after the children of the B Squad members, and this project was named the “Swag Sisters” because most of those children are girls, Barman said.
“The girls love shopping and they love accessories. My daughter, Chloe Barman, came up with this idea herself. She said, ‘Mom there are all kinds of fundraisers for back to school supplies, but nobody does clothes. If they do clothes, it is donated stuff people have worn,’” Barman noted.
After throwing around different ideas, including going to Walmart, Chloe suggested going to JCPenney because it is more like a mall.
Barman said the B Squad has been raising money for the event since May doing everything from bake sales to helping out with wrestling events where the charity was given a percentage of the gate.
“James Baker State Farm did a fundraiser for us where if we received phone calls giving insurance quotes, he would give us $10 per quote,” Barman said.
One of the B Squad board members also baked and sold pies as a fundraiser.
“We have done anything and everything to raise the money,” Barman added.
School family resource centers pick the children to participate in the B Squad’s events.
“They see the need more than we do. They know what is in the homes. We trust them to give us the list,” she added.
The B Squad already has its next project lined up, which is another bed giveaway, which is scheduled for Dec. 7.
Barman said she is hoping to raise enough money to get 50 beds for the giveaway.
She is also hoping to raise enough money to purchase an additional 25 beds that will be available for children who need to be placed into emergency foster care.
People wanting to donate to the group’s efforts can go to their Facebook page “The B Squad Project.” The B Squad also has PayPal and Go Fund Me accounts. Those wanting to donate can also contact Barman at Pizza Hut in Williamsburg most days where she is the general manager.
“Just find one of the board members. We are always doing something to get donations,” she added. “Really it takes the whole board’s effort to do this stuff.”
Donations can also be mailed to The B Squad Project at P.O. Box 43, Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769.
The B Squad Project is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt charity.