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Nonprofit Wants To Make Sure Texas Schools Have Underwear To Spare

Volunteers pack underwear for schools
Courtesy of Amy Weiss

Amy Weiss, a rabbi in Houston, started Undies for Everyone to help schools that face this situation every day: A student has an accident and is sent to the nurse to change their underwear.

“And they don’t have a spare pair," she said. "They go to the nurse’s office, but they stay there the rest of the day and usually their parents are working lower-income jobs and can’t just come get them."

Undies for Everyone wants to make sure schools with a lot of low-income students have plenty of spare pairs.

The nonprofit collects money and packs of underwear for schools in Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. On Monday, it launched a fundraiser on GoFund Me with the goal of raising $20,000 in the next two weeks to buy underwear to give schools and families at back-to-school events in August. 

Being able to change into clean clothes quickly helps a student's confidence in an embarrassing situation, Weiss said.

She said she's met a lot of families where siblings share underwear because of costs.

“It’s more expensive than other basic needs," she said. "You can buy used clothes at Goodwill ... but you don’t buy used underwear.” 

That also makes it a highly requested item for schools.

Weiss said the nonprofit plans to give 56,700 pairs of underwear to schools and students in Austin for the next school year.

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.