The Webster School Overwhelmed with Generous Donations for the Clothing Swap

Tina Motley interventionist at the Webster School organizing the Webster Clothing Swap
Tina Motley, interventionist at the Webster School, organizing the Webster clothing swap.

Grateful families got a chance to shop for free at the Webster clothing swap at We Can Night. One father came to the event with three young children, and when they were asked, if they were going to shop for clothes, one of the little girls asked with disbelief painted across her face. "Is it really free?" When it was confirmed by the volunteers, her face immediately lit up, she took her younger sister's hands, and they began jumping up and down with sheer joy.

"This is an amazing event," said Tara Merlot, a Webster parent whose daughter is in 5th grade at Webster. "Beautiful clothes, every size for adults and children. My daughter got some very cool stuff. There was such an array of different styles and lots of things with tags, and there were some very generous donors."

We Can Nights (Webster Elementary Community Access Nights) are special at the Webster School, because it is the one night a month, where the school is open to the community. We Can nights are only possible, because of the numerous Webster teachers and employees volunteering their time as well as a few parents, and the Webster PTO are always looking for more parent involvement.

Clothing swap at the Webster School, St. Augustine Florida

There was Bingo for Books, free food, and Flagler Health was providing free health screenings as well as free flu and Covid-19 booster shots.

Flagler Health Plus Kiosk at Webster
Flagler Health Plus Kiosk at Webster

The clothing swap was suggested by Webster parent Elizabeth Jennings at a Webster PTO meeting, and Tina Motley, interventionist at Webster, took charge. Motley started organizing all of the clothes at the stage in the Webster cafeteria, as she began sorting through the clothes and organizing it with the help from other teachers, students and parent volunteers.

When asked about the amount of clothes that came into the Webster School over the past couple of weeks, Motley became almost speechless. "I can't even, there was no room for me, the stage was packed. I have been working on it from 10 in the morning until 6 at night. It is wonderful. I am so glad that everyone is enjoying themselves, and that they are taking bags of clothes home." 

Elizabeth Jennings with Tina Motley interventionist at the Webster School in St. Augustine, Florida
Elizabeth Jennings from the Webster PTO with her son Arlo and Tina Motley organizer of the clothing swap at the Webster School.

"I am not sure how the idea really came about," said Elizabeth Jennings. "I was just thinking that most kids only wear their clothes for a year or so, and then they need a different size. I just thought it would be a cool thing to do to have people bring in stuff that doesn't fit them or their kids and trade. I never imagined that it would be like this, I mean we have a thrift store going on in here. It is wonderful. Thank you so much to everyone who donated clothes, because these are going to go to very good use."

Since December parents, families and community members have been dropping off gently-used clothes at the drop-off line and at the front office.

clothes donated to the Webster School clothing swap

Palencia Elementary dropped off boxes of clothes from their clothing closet, all organized and folded.

Clothes donated to the Webster Clothing Swap by Palencia Elementary School

Hugs St. Johns came by with packs of new underwear and lots of kids and women's clothes, and the clothing swap organizers and volunteers were amazed by the beautiful clothes delivered. 

Before the Christmas break Sonya Willis Smith asked, if she could bring clothes even though Webster was closed for the break, since she would be returning to West Augustine for Christmas. An arrangement was made for it to happen through her sister Dwala Willis from the West Augustine CRA, and then Sonia inspired her sister Dwala to clean out her closet too. 

Webster School Clothing Swap 2022

The Swap Til You Drop Clothing Swap at Webster was both heartwarming and inspiring. The impressive amount of clothing was almost overwhelming, and the generosity, which extended so far beyond West Augustine was galvanizing. Everyone shopped calmly and with courtesy, and the smiles on the children's faces, when they left the school with bags of new-to-them clothes brought joy to everyone involved in the clothing swap at the Webster School.

To request a PTO membership form you may ask your child's teacher, email the PTO at, or send a DM on Instagram at @webster_pto. PTO meetings are on the third Thursday of each month, directly following the SAC meeting. You may attend in person or via a Microsoft TEAMS link that is sent out via dojo and email.

For more volunteer opportunities make sure to check out the Volunteers in West Augustine tab in the sidebar.


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