People sometimes struggle to get the essentials for their families. Often, children and adults are left without proper clothing.
One local nonprofit is working to help resolve this issue through coordinated efforts at local schools.
Full of Heart was started by Dr. Keri Kulik, an IUP professor and wife of Mr. Justin Kulik, Saltsburg elementary physical education teacher. Justin Kulik is also the vice president of the newly formed Saltsburg Schools Foundation.
Full of Heart held its first event at Saltsburg Middle/High School in the high school library. The event was held from 3 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 24 during parent-teacher conferences and from 8 a.m. to noon on Jan. 25.
Full of Heart’s first event was coordinated with the help of the Saltsburg Schools Foundation and aimed to help provide free clothing to those in need. The clothing shop was open to the community and to the students of Saltsburg Elementary and Middle/High School.
Keri Kulik, an IUP professor in the kinesiology, health and sport science department, advises IUP student teachers, and saw a need for free clothing in local communities. She was compelled to do something about it.
“I was initially inspired for the project by the KIND closet in the Derry Area School District,” said Kulik, who resides in Derry Area and whose children attend Grandview Elementary.
That project, organized by a Derry Area senior, is a permanent fixture, operated out of a classroom in the high school.
“I love this idea and believe it serves a need in local communities,” she said.
The setup is simple: Full of Heart will go to local schools and set up a pop-up shop of clothes in all sizes and styles.
People in that community, particularly students who need them, can go to the school, find clothes that fit, and take them for free.
Kulik says their motto has been “Need It? Like It? Take It!”
Full of Heart is always looking for clothing donations.
Kulik said that there are two main ways to donate clothing.
One is by contacting the organization through email at wearefullofheart@gmail. com or through its Facebook page to arrange a drop-off. Another way is to participate in a local clothing drive. Full of Heart will accept clothing donations in all sizes children through adults.
The pop-up shop at Saltsburg was a hit. Kulik was pleased with the success of her organization’s first event.
“The free pop-up shop in Saltsburg was a huge success. We had over 40 students, families and community members stop in to shop and we donated back over 200 clothing items,” she said.
You can help support Full of Heart in several ways. “We will accept monetary donations and clothing donations, and would be happy to work with individuals interested in volunteering during our clothing drives or pop-shop events,” Kulik says.