Closet full of free new clothes opens at Boston elementary school

BOSTON — There’s a new store open inside a Boston elementary school.

There are brand new clothes, underwear, socks, even toothpaste and deodorant - everything that kids would need throughout the year.

In the store at the Mathers School in Dorchester, there's no cash register. Everything is donated – it's an arm of the organization Catie's Closet.

Teachers say if a student doesn't have their basic needs met, it's impossible for them to focus on learning, so Catie's Closet is working to fix that.

They're named after Anne-Marie Bisson's daughter, who died of a connective tissue disorder at the age of 20.

“For a mom, I think what you worry about when you lose a child is people forgetting her. Never did I think that we would be here today,” Ann-Marie Bisson said.

The charity has been helping set up these “stores” around schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but this will be the first to open in Boston

This resource is huge for Elizabeth Kollie, whose son Miles is a first grader at the school.

Until recently, Miles and his mom didn't have permanent housing. When they finally got a place, it was a blessing, but it also came with bills and fees.

"Sometimes when we budget, things fall through, like basic necessities deodorant toothbrushes, pair of shoes,” said Kollie.

Now Miles and his classmates have the option to pop into the store and take what they need.

“It really has impacted his spirit...It does impact his self-esteem,” Kollie told FOX25.

And that mission, carrying Catie's name, means everything to Bisson.

“I couldn't be more proud and happy and thrilled,” she said.

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