Eye of the Needle helps Waterloo students have school uniforms - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eye of the Needle helps Waterloo students have school uniforms

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Eye of the Needle in Waterloo offers free service to families along the poverty line by supplying them with things like clothing, food and household items. One mission of the store is to help families with kids in Waterloo Public Schools have uniforms.

Patricia King with Eye of the Needle said the store has been serving families for three years now. Since Waterloo Public Schools switched to uniforms, they've been in higher demand during the summer before students return to school.

The uniform consists of khaki pants and a polo shirt. King said most families have more than one child, and with a bigger family comes a higher demand.

"If you get a family, four or five kids come in, say one's got seven kids, one's got eight, one's got nine, then we had one time they had 13 kids, and you have to give each one of those kids uniforms," King said.

On average, Eye of the Needle gives about 800 school uniforms a year.

King said poverty levels are roughly $35,000 for an individual, $38,000 for a family of two and $41,000 for a family of three. Along with students, King said a large number of adults come through the doors in need of clothing.

"There are adults who come into us and they get a job well they don't have anything to wear so they come to us, 211 United Way refers a lot of people to us from other places," King said.

Eye of the Needle also takes food donations and household items, like laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. King also said baby items are in high demand right now, as people come in asking about baby carriers and clothes for small children.

The store relies heavily on donations, but it also receives grant money each year. Between Community Development and Community Foundation, Eye of the Needle received $17,500 this year in grants.

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