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Schriever and Peterson: Swapping clothes and smiles

Baby clothes is piled on top of the 3-to-6 month old section of a table inside the fitness center during the Schriever and Peterson Air Force Base’s joint Clothing Swap April 26, 2014, at Schriever AFB, Colo. Children’s clothes in sizes ranging from birth to high-school age were donated by members of both bases to assist military families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Baby clothes is piled on top of the 3-to-6 month old section of a table inside the fitness center during the Schriever and Peterson Air Force Base’s joint Clothing Swap April 26, 2014, at Schriever AFB, Colo. Children’s clothes in sizes ranging from birth to high-school age were donated by members of both bases to assist military families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Children’s shoes line the benches of the fitness center during the Schriever and Peterson Air Force Base joint Clothing Swap April 26, 2014, at Schriever AFB, Colo. Children’s clothes in sizes ranging from birth to high-school age were donated by members of both bases to assist military families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Children’s shoes line the benches of the fitness center during the Schriever and Peterson Air Force Base joint Clothing Swap April 26, 2014, at Schriever AFB, Colo. Children’s clothes in sizes ranging from birth to high-school age were donated by members of both bases to assist military families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Matthew Bridge (right) smiles at the camera while his brother, Tucker, chews on a toy during the third annual joint Clothing Swap inside the fitness center April 26, 2014, at Schriever AFB, Colo. The boy’s mother, Robin Bridge, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron secretary, said she loved the event and appreciated she was able to get everything they needed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Matthew Bridge (right) smiles at the camera while his brother, Tucker, chews on a toy during the third annual joint Clothing Swap inside the fitness center April 26, 2014, at Schriever AFB, Colo. The boy’s mother, Robin Bridge, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron secretary, said she loved the event and appreciated she was able to get everything they needed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Dozens of families with children, anywhere from stroller age to middle- school age, filled the Schriever Fitness Center to fill their plastic grocery bag with a variety of clothing items on April 26.

Schriever and Peterson Air Force Bases joined forces to give more than 60 families access to children's and maternity clothing at the third annual children's clothing swap.
Families received one plastic market bag per child and walked around from table to table sorting through lightly used shorts, pants, shirts, jackets, shoes, hats and even toys.

There was no restriction based on rank or affiliation for the event. Anyone who wanted to participate and had base access was able to shop for free.

"The turnout was amazing," said Amy Liquori, one of the event's coordinators. "There were more clothes than last year, and we even had to bring in more tables than expected."

Both bases set out donation boxes approximately six weeks prior to the event and collected them three days prior to the swap to allow maximum participation.

"Around 30 volunteers overall helped with the clothing swap and they were extremely vital in today's success," Liquori said.

Before the event there were literally piles of clothes sitting very high in the middle of the gymnasium, said Liquori. All the volunteers had the clothes sorted, organized by size and neatly folded on each table within a few short hours.

"Every person who participated whether it was by donating clothes or their time made a difference," added Debi Sutherland, event volunteer.

Sutherland said she was amazed by the generosity and overall response for the clothing swap.

Even though the event was still ongoing Liquori was already thinking about what they could do to improve the event for 2015.

"Next year, we will extend the donation timeframe so we can help even more military families," said Liquori.

Any items left over from the clothing swap are being donated to the Airman's Attic so anyone who couldn't attend the event will have access to them.
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