HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Parents know. Getting a child ready to go back to school is expensive.
There are new clothes to buy. Haircuts to get. School supply lists to fill.
In 2015, one survey found parents expected to spend an average of $630 on back-to-school expenses.
For families, already struggling, that kind of spending is impossible.
In fact, simply providing their children with the basic classroom necessities is a hardship.
That's where the Neighborhood Thrift Store comes in.
The outreach of Second Mile Development gives parents access to affordable school supplies.
Through year-round fundraising, the store is able to offer approximately $50 worth of supplies at a greatly reduced cost.
The supplies are sorted into backpacks, called Kid Kits. It's one of two Pride for Parents programs offered. The other gives parents a lower-cost shopping opportunity at Christmas.
With tax, the Elementary Kid Kit (for grades K-5) costs $10.90. The Junior Kid Kit (for grades 6-12) cost $15.26.
Parents can sign up at the store, located at 2815 University Drive. At that time, they can pay in full or put down a deposit of $2.18.
The balance is due at pickup. Those who can't afford to pay the remainder can volunteer in the store to earn any credit needed.
The Neighborhood Thrift Store is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm.
The kits will be available for pickup July 20-22. The goal is to make the supplies available to more than 1,000 children in the Huntsville-area.
Donations are always needed. Second Mile aims to stock the kits with quality, brand-name items such as Crayola crayons and markers, pencils, lined paper, binders and scientific calculators for the older students.
If you don't have time to shop, but you'd still like to help, donations may be made online to go toward the purchase of supplies for the Kids Kits.