Americans, Minnesotans in particular, are charitable people. When someone needs help, we are quick to open our hearts and wallets to provide relief. We are constantly amazed at the heartwarming generosity of people in the Shakopee area who do not flinch when a neighbor needs help.
While this newspaper regularly publishes examples of good deeds, it is literally impossible to keep track of them. There are simply too many. At times, though, it’s important to cite a good news items.
A few weeks ago, we told you about 15-year-old Grace Myler and her mother, Katie Myler of Shakopee, who for several months traveled to various spots in the southwest metro area setting up boutiques that provide new clothing for teen girls in need. The duo is part of a growing national organization called Threads for Teens, whose goal is to serve girls ages 13 to 18 who are homeless, in foster care or who come from low-income families. In the March 2 Valley News, staff writer Jo Herrera wrote that since August, the Myler duo has set up six “pop-up” shops that served about 100 teenagers in Scott, Carver and McLeod counties.
Grace and Katie now have a permanent home for their boutiques in Shakopee, at the school district office at Shakopee Town Square.
Herrera’s story last week related that according to the Minnesota Department of Education, 35 percent of students in the Shakopee School District receive free or reduced-price lunch and 48 students are homeless. There is no doubt that a good number of Shakopee students could use a helping hand. When the decision to donate the space was announced at a February School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Rod Thompson described the decision as “a perfect storm.”
“[Room] 105 is a somewhat underutilized area and for you it’s a boutique,” Thompson said. “We’re happy to provide that space and be the next Minnesota model for helping provide for all kids.”
This will be the first permanent Threads for Teens boutique outside of California, where the program was started in 2010 by a then-14-year-old girl.
The Mylers were able to connect with corporate sponsors to obtain clothing in a variety of sizes. Anyone can nominate a girl who needs clothing for any purpose — a job interview, a special occasion or just for school and everyday purposes. The girls then make a one-on-one appointment to shop at the boutique with the help of Grace.
“When they try on their outfit, just seeing their smile and reaction is incredibly satisfying,” Grace told the Valley News.
The mother-daughter team and school district are doing something that is needed and heartwarming. Kudos to them.
For more information on Threads for Teens visit www.threadsforteens.org or learn about the Minnesota chapter on Facebook or Instagram @threadsforteens_MN.