Serenity House helps youths prepare for school year

The annual back-to-school emphasis is under way throughout August at Serenity House of Clallam County's thrift stores.

Serenity Shop, 215 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim, and Serenity Thrift Store, 502 E. First, Port Angeles, are accepting donations of cash and school supplies and are designating a portion of the month's profits for the back-to-school project.

"We want to make sure that every child in every Serenity House program that helps families overcome homelessness is ready for school and excited about going to school," said Peggy Schoeffel, manager of the Port Angeles store.

"For kids to succeed in school, they need to feel confident that the way they're dressed won't keep them from fitting in and being accepted," added Sequim store manager Bel Munoz.

Kindergarten through high school students will be outfitted with appropriate school clothing, new shoes, coats and backpacks, as well as supplies specific to their grade and classes. Especially in the upper grades, required supplies can be pricey, with scientific calculators costing more than $60 each.

In Sequim, the Serenity Shop is open from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays.

In Port Angeles, Serenity Thrift Store's hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. Both stores also are open Sundays from 11 a.m.-

4 p.m.

Net revenues from Serenity House's two stores provide about 20 percent of the operating revenue for the agency that was founded in 1982, to end homelessness in Clallam County.

"Shopping at Serenity always directly helps homeless people," Munoz said, "but this month we're especially focused on helping homeless children prepare for school."

For more information about donating or volunteering at Serenity stores, call 683-8269 or 452-4711.

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