St. Croix fitness group collects uniforms for students in need


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ST. CROIX - What started out as a suggestion during an informal meeting of the fitness group Team Believe It a few weeks ago has become a reality as the group has collected more than 300 uniforms to be given away to local students.

Kernita Arthurton, who owns Full-Force Nutrition Club in Gallows Bay with her husband, Dexter, said members of the nutrition group began talking a few weeks ago about some community service work that they wanted to do. She said a number of ideas were bantered about but one of the ideas that stuck was for them to re-purpose school uniforms.

"We started contacting family and friends to have them join the efforts to donate uniforms that were still in good condition, but that their children had either outgrown or if they had changed schools," she said.

Wellness coach Audrey Browne said the response from the community was overwhelming, and Team Believe It was able to collect hundreds of uniforms, including shirts, blouses, skirts and pants for all of the public and private schools across the island and in all sizes from pre-school to high school.

The owners of Tropical Cleaners volunteered their services to dry clean and press all the clothes so they would be ready to wear. Thursday, when the distribution began, Arthurton had piles of uniforms.

Several parents came and picked up uniforms and were grateful for the program, but Arthurton said she knows there are many more people in need who still can come out to get them, if not for themselves, for some child that they know.

Full-Force Nutrition Bar is across from the Canegata Ball Park Tennis Courts and is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4:30 to 7 p.m. daily.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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