News Clips

2022 News Articles and Video Clips

January 2022:

January 2022:  Bob Blouin, COK President, 2021 Recap and Thank You letter to all volunteers and donors:  2021 Year End Wrap-Up and Thank You message.

2021 News Articles and Video Clips

December 2021:


A huge thank you to The River Church in Frankford for their Rockin the Stockin Clothing Drive resulting in two very large bins filled with clothes and coats for the Sussex County School children in need. COK Board Member Heather Sells Ennis is pictured with her husband Pastor Bryan Sells.  Pastor Sells is also pictured with COK Volunteer Center Manager JeanAnn Hudson. Our KIDS are so blessed with the generosity of The River Church congregation.












Bay Pointe Community has continued to help COK this year with another spectacular Christmas gift! Their annual Angel Tree event was held on December 22, 2021. Kim Simpson, social chairperson explained that the members at Bay Pointe community are a very generous and caring group. This is the third year that they have chosen COK as a charity that they wish to support. We cannot begin to express how grateful we are that we are the benefactors of such a giving spirit!   Pictured below is Kim Simpson with just a few of the items donated! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!












Clothing Our Kids was the lucky recipient of a clothing drive in December, 2021 to benefit the needy kids of Sussex County. This event was organized by Bryan Peden, physical therapist at Joynt Physical Therapy in Millsboro.  Their kind donation of clothing and shoes was picked up by volunteer, Nancy Hoffman on 1/6/22. Pictured below is Jennifer Merritt and Bryan Peden. Through their generous efforts, we can continue to provide warm clothing to many at risk children in our community. Thank you to Bryan his staff and all of those who contributed to Clothing Our Kids!











The annual Santa‘s Workshop was held on December 17, 2021 at Vanderwende Acres in Seaford. Donations of children’s clothing including hoodies, pajamas, underwear and many other items were generously donated to Clothing Our Kids!  The event was organized by Caitlin Bunting, Vanderwende Acres Events and Marketing Manager.  Clothing was picked up and delivered by COK volunteer, Brenda Benson.  We are so grateful for these generous donations. This wonderful event was truly an example of the spirit of the season!








November 2021:


Many thanks to The Villages at Five Points for this impressive donation of warm clothing and shoes for the Sussex County school kids in need. They’re being dressed for success in their educational pursuits.











From October 11 to November 30, Georgetown Public Library generously sponsored a clothing drive to support the Sussex County school children in need through Clothing Our Kids. Pictured below is the amazing bundle collected by COK Volunteers Margi Palmer and Joan Wojewoda from that drive. Included in the carload was a whole variety of winter clothes – coats, hats, gloves, pajamas, casual wear, sweaters, pants and shirts.  Also pictured below are Rachel Culver, Director, and Meghan Palazzo, Assistant Director, of Georgetown Public Library.









On November 30th Clothing Our Kids received a donation of 38 winter coats from the Knights Of Columbus Bishop Burke Council 11285. Pictured left to right are Larry Bucci, Tom Keating and Andy Schopfer. That’s our own Robin Hartwell receiving the coats at the volunteer center! Thanks so much for this wonderful contribution!










The Clothing Drive was a Selbyville Community Women’s Club effort that began when they learned about Clothing Our Kids (COK) through social media. The Club has a monthly newsletter which began mentioning COK in the September issue after Club Members explored the web site and obtained more knowledge from long-time Community Outreach Volunteer Eileen Wilkinson. Eileen offered to speak with the group, so they scheduled the Clothing Drive in conjunction with her visit. All at COK are thankful for generosity of the members of the Selbyville Women’s Club in supporting the Mission of Clothing Our Kids. Pictured below are members of the Selbyville Community Women’s Club with President Deb Hiob in the front row on the far right.










October 2021:


The Sussex County school kids in need will be warm and cozy thanks to the generosity of all employees at Mountaire. A clothing drive was planned for most of October, and the photo below represents the haul benefitting the kids served by Clothing Our Kids. Organizing the transport from Mountaire to the COK Volunteer Center are from left to right: Director Communications & Community Relations Cathy Bassett, IT Help Desk Support Manager Josh Barre, Communications & Community Relations Specialist Rachel Lord, Director IT Manufacturing & Support Brett Ryan, Network Analyst David Plum and COK President Bob Blouin.










October 26, 2021:  We Learn How the “Clothing Our Kids” Organization Is Working To Improve the Lives of Children in Sussex County | WRDE Coast TV

September 2021:

September 27, 2021:  Clothing Our Kids Golf Tournament:  Thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers that made the 2021 Golf Fundraiser a success!

Clothing Our Kids Golf Tournament | WRDE Coast TV

September 8, 2021 issue:  Clothing Our Kids online auction to open Sept. 16 | Cape Gazette

September 17, 2021 issue:  BIDS for the KIDS 2021 | Cape Gazette ad












Thank You to Stonewater Creek Ladies’ Club:   The Sussex County School Kids in need thank the Stonewater Creek Ladies’ Club for “Hoodies from the Neighborhood”, a clothing drive organized to clothe them in style for the new school year. COK received a whopping 153 hoodies from this wonderful group represented by Kathy Lane (COK’s Outreach Committee) on the left and Karen Herritt on the right flanking Center Director Karen Borges.

August 2021:

August 24, 2021 issue:  Clothing Our Kids benefit auction kicks off Sept. 16 | Cape Gazette











Thank You to Deb Putt, Grant Committee Chairperson:  COK President Bob Blouin presented Deb Putt, former Grant Committee Chairperson, with a plaque recognizing her effort in creating and leading the Committee with great success. Bob and the entire Board Of Directors thank Deb for her hard work on behalf of the kids.

The plaque stated: With Gratitude from the Kids of Sussex County,  Deb Putt, Grant Committee Founder and Manager

June 2021:
















June 2021:  Delaware City Refining Company (DCRC) .   COK is grateful to be selected as a beneficiary of DCRC Fundraiser. COK President Kate Gibson accepted the check from Michael Capone, General Manager.  Also pictured is Lisa Lindsey, Public Affairs and Community Relations, who searched online and selected COK as a recipient. THANK YOU!!  We truly appreciate your generosity.

April 2021:










April 2021:  Eagle’s Nest Church Clothing Contribution.   COK is grateful to Eagle’s Nest Church for an amazing assortment of school clothing from their recent drive. Patti Weed and Carol Upman personally delivered the clothing to the Volunteer Center and are pictured with Center Director Karen Borges.

April 18, 2021:  Clothing Our Kids announces date for the 2021 Charily Golf Outing – Ocean Atlantic/Schell Brothers as tournament trustees.  2021 COK Golf Tournament  – Press Release

April 18, 2021:  Clothing Our Kids (COK) chosen as the first charity for “Thankful Thursday”.  COK is pleased to have been chosen as the first charity on the summer calendar for “Thankful Thursday” by Revelation Craft Brewing Company at the airport at Hudson Field Beer Garden in historic Milton.  Thankful Thursday – Press Release

April 17, 2021 issue:  Clothing Our Kids Golf Tournament set for September 27, 2021 | Cape Gazette

January 2021:

January 7, 2021:  A Special Thank You from Kate Gibson, COK President | Facebook

January 27, 2021 issue: Clothing Our Kids ensures Sussex students have the basics | Bay to Bay News

January 26, 2021:  WMDT’s the Brightside featured Board Member Kathleen Schell and President Kate Gibson speaking from COK Volunteer Center | 47 ABC

January 15, 2021 issue:  Clothing Our Kids thanks Schell Family Foundation and all donors | Cape Gazette

January 11, 2021 issue:  Schell Family Foundation donates to Clothing Our Kids | Coastal Point

2020 News Articles and Video Clips

December 2020:

December 25, 2020 issue:  Clothing Our Kids raises $8K to support at-risk schoolchildren | Cape Gazette

Kate Gibson, COK President, Year End Wrap-Up and Thank You message to all volunteers and donors:   Clothing Our Kids thanks the community | Cape Gazette

November 2020:

Women’s Club of  Stonewater Creek Clothing Contribution.   The Women’s Club of Stonewater Creek donated pajamas, shirts, pants, track suits, winter jackets, hoodies, and various accessories for COK to give to kids in need.   THANK YOU!!  We truly appreciate your generosity!










The Peninsula Golf and Country Club Turkey Trot to Benefit Clothing Our Kids.  On Nov 28th, over 50 people participated in the annual Turkey Trot at The Peninsula. COK was designated the beneficiary and participants donated over 150 articles of clothing for Sussex County school kids in need. Thanks to Troon in general and the Staff of the Athletic Club in particular for hosting this fun and necessary event.









2020 Peninsula Turkey Trot – Press Release

Thank You to Glenn Schuster.

COK Vice President Bob Blouin recognized Glenn Schuster with a plaque thanking him for his service to COK as Director of Community Outreach. In making the presentation Bob acknowledged Glenn’s early involvement and passion in spreading COK’s Mission to business organizations, community associations, houses of worship and others throughout Sussex County. He was one of just a few volunteers at the start of COK and provided later volunteers with a roadmap to follow in promoting the organization’s work for the kids. Thanks Glenn!








Giving Thanks for Charity through Golf.  Excerpt from Cape Gazette article by Fritz Schranck dated November 28, 2020:

“Clothing Our Kids is one of most successful grassroots charities to be created in the Cape Region. The organization provides clothing and footwear to needy elementary-age children throughout Sussex County. The primary source of funds has been a fall golf tournament at Peninsula, where many of the charity’s supporters live. The tournaments’ successes inspired a second fundraiser in the spring, an auction party.

The pandemic response forced the postponement of both the golf tournament and the spring auction in 2020, along with a significant cutback in the charity’s day-to-day operations.

Undaunted, COK chose a new option to deal with the situation. On Sept. 27, the Kruisin’ For Kids parade of highly decorated cars, often convertibles, rode through the Peninsula’s neighborhoods. Butterfly nets hanging from the cars collected donations from residents, and a safely spaced tailgate party to judge the car entries finished the day. It raised $8,000 – not a huge amount compared to the five-figure sums raised normally, but it will spend, and the county’s needy children will benefit.”

Cape Gazette Article

October 2020:

Kruisin for Kids (KFK), a parade of creatively decorated cars through the Peninsula, raised more than $8000 for the kids of Sussex county.  THANK YOU to all participants and contributors!











Kruisin for Kids – Press Release

Cape Gazette Article

August 2020:

Clothing Our Kids (COK) Recognizes Two Outstanding Board Members and Announces New Members.  This month’s COK Board Meeting recognized two outstanding Volunteer Board Members as they step down after each served an eight-year tenure. Also, four new members were welcomed to the board.









2020 Clothing Our Kids Board Members Changes – Press Release

March 2020:

An Enchanted Evening Under the Stars to Benefit Clothing Our Kids.  The second annual Kickin’ it up for Kids Fundraiser will be held on April 16, 2020, at the Peninsula Golf & Country Club.   (Postponed)








2020 Auction Party Fundraiser – Press Release

January 2020:

Janney Donates to Clothing Our Kids.  Janney’s financial advisors and staff in its Lewes office collected needed apparel items to support Clothing Our Kids this holiday season.  THANK YOU! We appreciate your generous donation!

Cape Gazette Article

2019 News Articles and Video Clips

September 2019:

Sneakin’ into September Clothing Drive. Stonewater Creek Women’s Group, chaired by Kathy Lane, collected over 100 pairs of sneakers for COK to give to kids in need. THANK YOU!! We truly appreciate your generosity!







Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary. THANK YOU to the Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary for their generous donation of $2000 to Clothing Our Kids!! We truly appreciate it.








August 2019:

Custom SurfBoard Auction to Benefit COK.  Bids accepted through August 15, 2019.  A collaborative group of artists, designers, and craftsmen has teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind surfboard which will be auctioned as a fundraiser for Clothing Our Kids.

Custom Surfboard Auction Details


July 2019:

Through their “Bidding for a Cause Silent Auction” program, the employees of ALOFT AeroArchitects at Delaware Coastal Airport donated $620 to Clothing Our Kids. Pictured are the CEO of AeroArchitects Bob Sundin and COK Board Member Bob Blouin. On behalf of the Sussex County KIDS in need: THANK YOU! We appreciate your generous donation!


April 2019:

Many thanks to Dogfish Head “Tasting Room and Tours Tip Program” which donated $5,952.92 on April 16th to COK!  We so appreciate your generous donation!

Dogfish Head Donation to COK – Press Release


Auction Party held at Peninsula Golf and Country Club raised more than $54,000 for COK.  THANK YOU to all donors, volunteers, and participants for making this such a successful event!

Auction Party Fundraiser – Press Release


2018 News Articles and Video Clips

October 2018:

Beachcomber Corvette Car Show- Many thanks to this wonderful club which donated $2,105.00 on Oct 4th to COK!  They Rock!

September 2018:

John Smith, COK President – Cape Gazette Letter to Editor

August 2018:

Delaware Living – Two Delaware Electric Co-op Members Honored Nationally

John Smith, COK President – Year End Wrap Up

June 2018:

“Thank you to our Friends at Beebe Hospital!  WE are all part of one community and COK is so grateful that you were able to collect enough brand new articles of clothes for us to aid over 200 kids in NEED right here in Sussex County!  We so appreciate the program you’ve put in place to help us gather clothes this summer in preparation for the upcoming school year!

From all of us at COK, a big round of THANKS!”
Thank you Laurie Dickerson, Lynne Brumbaugh, Quanda Curtis-Bozman (Pictured below).


May 2018:

Thank you to the Carl M Freeman Foundation for hosting and honoring Clothing Our Kids at the annual May reception with a $5,000 grant award.  We are delighted and honored to have been selected as a 2018 Carl M Freeman Foundation FACES grant recipient.  This grant award will purchase clothing for children as they begin the 2018/2019 school year!


The Nanticoke Rotary  awarded a  $1,500 Grant from their annual Grant Fund to Clothing Our Kids!  Thank you to this Seaford Delaware Organization for your support.  We are honored to have been one of 5 organizations to have been selected.  This Grant will allow us to purchase more clothing for the Kids of Sussex County.

March 2018:

Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary donated $2,000 to Clothing Our Kids!   Thank you to George Jarvis for nominating COK to the Rotary, this donation will allow us to purchase more clothing for the Kids of Sussex County!     Cape Gazette – Lewes Rehoboth Rotary Donation

Nanticoke Health Fair was conducted on March 17, 2018.   Kim, Kathleen, Monica, Maria and Glenn hosted a COK booth, creating more Sussex County awareness about the Clothing Our Kids mission.

Dogfish Head Brewery Staff collects tips each month to donate to a charity. In January, COK was pleasantly surprised with a check for $2735.67 from this incredible Staff at one of Sussex County’s most successful businesses. Matt Feterson, Off-centered Tour and Tasting Room Manager, is the lead on the program. COK volunteers visited the Brewery in Milton to thank the Dogfish Head Staff during their monthly meeting on Friday March 16. Thank you Dogfish Head Staff for your kindness and generosity to the KIDS of Sussex County.


February 2018:

Community Bank of Delaware Donates $1,000 to Local Organization “Clothing Our Kids”

In an effort to support the children of Sussex County, Community Bank Delaware donated $1,000 to “Clothing Our Kids”. Jack Riddle, President of Community Bank Delaware noted, “This grassroots organization is really making a difference for children in our community, we are happy to help out.”

Shown are (L-R) – AVP Lori Ruberti, CFO Angie Warrell, President Jack Riddle, AVP Brandon Perdue, Clothing our Kids Outreach director Glenn Schuster, AVP Dawn Burbage and VP Shannon McGinn


Glenn Schuster, our Community Outreach Director, promoted clothing Our Kids on the Weller Does Delmarva Show on Feb. 10th. – Weller Does Delaware

January 2018:

Delaware Electric Cooperative  –   Who Powers You!   Mary Rio, COK Founder

The Delaware Way –  Jack Blannett, COK Board Member Interview

2017 News Articles and Video Clips

December 2017 – Cape Gazette ArticleCOK President Community Thank you 

October 2017 – 2017 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer  Award 

Read the entire story here Governor Announces Social Justice/Advocacy Awards

Clothing Our Kids, Social Justice/Advocacy
Clothing Our Kids (COK) is a nonprofit organization of approximately 150 volunteers whose
mission is to improve the lives of at-risk elementary school children by providing them with
school clothing. In Sussex County, 22 percent of children live below the poverty level and do not
have school clothing. Lack of appropriate school attire has a negative impact on children’s self esteem,
school attendance, ability to learn, and can lead to bullying. Clothing Our Kids’ goal is
to assist youngsters with an equal start in their early education and help them become successful
students. Working exclusively through nurses, counselors, and assistant principals, volunteers
with Clothing Our Kids respond to requests, usually within 24 hours. Volunteers pack up the
items and deliver them to the school, where the children are presented with the package in
private, so they are never embarrassed in front of their peers. In the 2016-17 school year,
Clothing Our Kids provided more than 20,000 items to 3,852 children.

August 2017 – Delaware Electric Cooperative Community Story

Delaware Living – Clothing Our Kids

July 2017 – WBOC Interview and Story

Clothing Our Children in Sussex County

Local Volunteer Organization Making a Change

July 2017 – Cape Gazette Article 

Clothing Our Kids Seeks Continued Support 

2016 News Articles and Video Clips

December 2016 – Mountaire Delmarva Award 

A huge Thank You to Mountaire! Clothing Our Kids was selected for the Mountaire Better Delmarva Award! The ceremony was conducted on December 14. Please view the videos below which will be shared on live TV WMDT.

December 2016 – Clothing Our Kids 

Del-One FCU and the Del-One Foundation are focused on giving back to the community.  The Del-One Foundation raises funds throughout the year for charitable purposes to benefit the residents of Delaware.  Yesterday, 11/29 “Giving Tuesday” kicked off our Holiday Spirit Give Back campaign!  The Foundation donated an additional $7000 to Clothing Our Kids, a local organization whose mission is to “improve the lives of at-risk elementary school children by providing them with essential school clothing”.  The Del-One Foundation also sponsored and participated in the Clothing Our Kids annual golf tournament in October, and members and staff of Del-One collected and donated over 15 bags of clothing to this amazing organization.  #GiveBack  #GivingTuesday  #DelOneWay Pictured L-R: Del-One Foundation Board Director Heather Gunter, Del-One Foundation Board President Amy Resh,  Clothing Our Kids Rep. Kate Gibson, and Del-One FCU President/ CEO Dion Williams

November 2016 – Clothing Our Kids Seeks Donations – Cape Gazette Article:


October 2016 – Clothing Our Kids Third Annual Golf Fundraiser Event

WRDE News Coverage

Press Release


delmarva life

Interview with Mary Rio:   Delmarva Treasure – Clothing our Kids – February 9, 2016



Cape Region Golfers Step Up for Charity Event October 23rd, 2015


‘Clothing Our Kids benefits from donation of 200 coats’ – January 28th, 2015 (Download PDF)

‘Long Neck woman is Clothing Our Kids’ – May 9th, 2013 (Download PDF)

‘Fundraising to clothe our kids’ – December 3rd, 2013 (Download PDF)



‘A Perfect Fit’ – September 2013 Issue (Download PDF)



‘Nonprofit helps clothe needy kids in Sussex’ – February 5, 2015
Amanda Merritt

Mary Rio, co-founder and president of the Clothing Our Kids nonprofit, is aware that a child’s clothing can affect his/her self-perception and confidence level. With new clothes being a low priority for struggling families, Rio and her husband have set out to provide sets of clothes, shoes and underwear to elementary school-aged children in need. We talk to her about the nonprofit’s continuing mission.

What does your job entail?

As founder, I am in charge of implementing our mission of supplying school clothing to elementary students in need in Sussex County. We collect clothes, take requests for clothes from the schools, and sort them for donation. We collect the requests from districts’ counselors and social workers and give them the clothes to distribute.

Where do you think Clothing Our Kids is headed or needs to go?

We are going to stay focused on Sussex County-based schools and make sure that each elementary school child has clothing available to them. Our goal is to educate the community and the schools, so every “at risk” child can attend school, giving them the ability to learn and self-esteem to give them a successful education.

How can your organization get it there?

Our organization has grown so fast because of the economic needs. The clothing inventory has been moved from my house to a very large garage located in Millsboro, donated by J & Y Parker Family Limited Partnership. As we grow, so does our numbers of volunteers. We now have close to 200 wonderful and generous volunteers. Without their continuous support, Clothing Our Kids would not be able to survive. In order to keep up with the demand, we need monetary and gently worn children’s clothing donations from size 4T to 18/20 youth. Monetary donations are also very important: without them, we don’t exist.

Since this school year began, we have had over 6,000 pieces of clothing donated which will go to about 600 kids. Last year, we had a higher amount and we expect by year’s end to clothe about 1,000 kids.