The Annual Thanks-4-Giving Clothing Giveaway will be the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Nov. 20 from 9 am to 1 p.m. Bozeman area schools and volunteers are collecting gently used clothing and offering the items free of charge during a two day event held at the Willson School Gym at 404 W. Main Street in Bozeman. Everyone in the community is invited to come and take what they and their families can use.

“This is the perfect time of year to take a moment to be thankful and recognize what we can do for others,” said Reni Kessinger, founder and co-chair of Thanks-4-Giving. “In a way, the spirit of Thanksgiving has been lost in a marketing push to spend, spend, spend during the end of the year holidays.”

Thanks-4-Giving started as a single elementary school project to exchange clothing with other students. The event quickly grew into a community event thanks to a collaboration of area school volunteers, community members and students. Thanks-4-Giving is now entering its fourth year and has expanded to include clothing from infant to adult, shoes and outerwear. The event redistributes literally tons of clothing within the community each November.

“Thanks-4-Giving has become an easy way for our community to reuse, recycle and encourage giving. Every parent has clothing their child grew out of before wearing out. Why not see these clothes being used in your community rather than taking up space in your home,” Kessinger said.

The response to Thanks-4-Giving Clothing Giveaway has been overwhelming. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and support from the community, this is a successful event that plans to continue every year in Bozeman. But that is not enough for the founder and team behind Thanks-4-Giving.

“It has always been my dream that this idea would spread,” said Kessinger. The weekend before Thanksgiving is a perfect time to work together. I hope other communities will be inspired to look at what they can do locally to bring goodness and sharing. It would be wonderful to see Thanks-4-Giving clothing giveways throughout the country the same time every year. That would really put into action the spirit of Thanksgiving.”

Donations of gently used items, sorted and labeled according to size and gender, will be accepted this year at the Willson School Gym, South 5th Avenue entrance, Monday Nov. 14 through Friday Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.