Runners typically discard gear during or before races, and Youth Services volunteers will be picking up all discarded clothing at the start line of this year’s Williams Route 66 Marathon. The clothes will be utilized by the YST Street Outreach Drop-In Center, Adolescent Emergency Shelter and Transitional Living Program.
With winter fast approaching, the rescued clothes will provide an extra layer for YST’s homeless clients, and other clients who do not have adequate winter clothing or shoes. The majority of youth travel on foot to get to the Drop-In Center, so the extra layers of clothing help to keep the kids and teens warm. It is estimated that approximately 500 pieces of clothing will be discarded on marathon morning.
“Clothing is a key item our youth need, especially during winter,” said James M. Walker, Youth Services’ executive director. “We couldn’t be happier when Chris Lieberman asked if we would like to receive the clothing left on the side of the Route 66 course. Donated athletic clothes are a rarity. These clothes will provide an extra layer of warmth for our youth during the cold months ahead.”
Through YST’s 19 different programs, the organization served more than 21,000 youth ages 12 to 24 years in fiscal year 2011.