Founders Story

Mary Rio: Founder, Board Member Emeritus

Mary, originally from St. Marys, Pennsylvania, met and married her husband John in 1969. While raising her two children, she maintained a full time career initially as the head teller for a local bank and then eventually as the office manager for a HVAC business. Mary retired in 2006 and the Rios moved to Delaware in 2009 where John accepted a position as an assistant principle at a local elementary school. This move forever changed their lives.

One day John told Mary about a young girl at his school who had only one set of clothes that she wore everyday. The Rios helped this child with some new outfits and later learned that this problem was more prevalent in the Sussex County School System than anyone could ever imagine. Mary was now on a mission to help as many of these children as she could. In 2012, she founded “Clothing Our Kids” and operated the newly founded organization out of her home with the help of a few friends. Through her efforts, “Clothing Our Kids” has flourished becoming an award winning 501(c)(3) charity with over 150 volunteers and a permanent volunteer center. Since its inception, over 32,000 kids have been helped with more than 192,000 articles of clothing.