The FIT Closet & Clothing Exchange is a 100% community- supported project. College Avenue United Methodist Church donates the building in which the FIT Closet is housed. The FIT Closet is staffed by one part-time, paid coordinator (USD 383 employee) and a team of 75+ volunteers. Every item in our “inventory” has been donated by caring individuals, churches, organizations, and businesses in the community (or purchased with donated monies). Without the continued support and care of these amazing individuals and entities, the FIT Closet would cease to exist!
Donations are welcome at the FIT Closet during our open hours. Please check the website for an up-to-date schedule. If you’re interested in making a financial donation, make your check payable to USD 383 and write FIT Closet in the memo line. Thank you SO MUCH for your interest and your help.
The Families In Transition (FIT) Closet is a program of the USD 383 school district that began as a service to children and families experiencing homelessness (Head Start/Pre-K through high school). Over the years, this number has continued to rise. During the 2018-19 school year, over 387+ students were identified as homeless (FIT).
Here’s a snapshot of student homelessness across Kansas - number of homeless students attending Kansas K-12 public schools:
Source: EHCY Data (Education for Homeless Children & Youth) taken from the Kansas Department of Education website: www.KSDE.org
Schools are required by federal law to make sure these students are outfitted for school. The FIT Closet is USD 383’s means of providing necessary school supplies, shoes, clothing, coats, hygiene supplies, and other essentials, so these children can attend class and integrate successfully.
In order to shop at the FIT Closet, families MUST HAVE a “qualified” student enrolled in a school within the boundaries of USD 383 (this includes private schools and families who homeschool).
There are two “keys” that qualify a family to shop at the FIT Closet:
Key #1. You must have a child attending school within the geographic boundaries of the Manhattan-Ogden school district (this includes Flint Hills Christian School, Manhattan Catholic School, and home-school families who live within the school district’s boundaries).
Key #2. Your family must qualify as either a "FIT family" (Family In Transition) or for the free/reduced lunch program.
If you have both of these “keys” - FIT Closet staff will ask you to show proof of this the first time you come to shop. This proof could be the email you received when you enrolled your student in school. If they qualify for free/reduced lunch - that email will indicate this fact. If you are unable to provide proof, you will need to go to the office at one of your children’s schools. Once there, ask staff for some sort of printed proof that your student is enrolled and that they qualify for free/reduced lunch. Bring that back with you to the FIT Closet and show it to the FIT Closet staff. You will then be asked to complete a FIT Closet Registration Form, which will be kept on file at the FIT Closet and you and your immediate family will then be qualified to shop at the FIT Closet for the remainder of the school year.
PLEASE NOTE: every family must re-register at the beginning of each school year.
If your student is home-educated, you will need to provide proof of income level (this can be in the form of last year’s tax return). FIT Closet staff has access to the free/reduced lunch guidelines and income levels required and can work with you to determine if your family qualifies to shop at the FIT Closet.