Clothing drive sees success in debut year

Caroline [left] and Olivia Bishop stand amidst the used and new clothes collected for the Live and Care Drive. On Monday, Aug. 26, over 30 children go to pick out clothes for the new school year. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
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Backpacks donated from Samsonite were dropped off to area schools to be given to students. Each backpack contained an array of school supplies. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

Clothing drive sees success in debut year

What began as a drive at their local church has expanded to something new, which has benefited dozens of schoolchildren.

Live and Care, a clothing drive organized by Olivia and Caroline Bishop, collected slightly used clothing for children in needy families. This collection filled nine tables at the Community School, and was bolstered by purchases made by the Bishop family. At least 30 children signed up to get clothes through the drive, walking out with bagfuls on Monday, Aug. 26.

“So many kids left beaming smiling,” said Olivia, a recent graduate of North Attleborough High. “It exceeded all expectations.”

Eleven years ago, the Bishop sisters began a blanket and pajama drive through Saint Mary’s Church. Working with friends, they made the items by hand, but began buying them as the drive saw more and more demand.

“We wanted them to have something warm and fuzzy to wear,” said Olivia.

It was this need in the community that led to Live and Care (a title based on their names) being created. Starting in late July, the sisters—working with their family and Sarah Stone, who heads the school’s food pantry—began collecting names of those who could benefit from the new program. Katie Carley at the middle school also donated clothing that had been given to the Kindness Closet.

Caroline added that they plan to continue the drive each year.

“A lot of teachers and some friends helped,” she said.

On a related note, the school was among the beneficiaries of a backpack program organized by the Hockamock YMCA. Over 2,000 backpacks donated by Samsonite were delivered to area schools, including Community, which received 350. Each contained a donation of school supplies. Olivia recalled the day that bags were dropped off.

“They filled the van floor to ceiling,” she said.