Grant goes a long way to help outfit children
It all started when a prayer group consisting of St. Charles residents adopted families in need one Christmas. As they reviewed the childrens' wish lists, some of the items were for basic necessities, like underwear and socks.
"They said if they need underwear at Christmas, they must need things all year long," recalled Audrey Ryan, Eagle's Wings president.
Four years later, the all-volunteer nonprofit organization is helping outfit thousands of children who are living at or below the poverty level with new clothes.
Eagle's Wings was recently awarded a $1,000 Operation Round Up grant to support their mission of "helping kids soar."
When Eagle's Wings was incorporated in 2015, it held a spring shopping day in the Orchard Farm School District. Since then, shopping days are now held twice annually and have expanded into the Francis Howell and Wentzville school districts.
The group also assists with emergency requests in the Fort Zumwalt School District.
Through July, Eagle's Wings has provided new clothing and shoes to over 1,000 children in St. Charles County since its inception.
Members of the all-volunteer group work tirelessly throughout the year to raise funds. The organization operates solely on donations, grants and fundraisers.
At the shopping days, the children are able to choose three complete outfits along with socks, underwear and shoes. In the fall, students choose a new coat, winter pajamas, hat, scarves and gloves.
Approximately 20 percent — or 8,000 children in St. Charles County — live below the poverty level, according to the organization.
"You don't realize there is such a need," Eagle's Wings board member Donna Rhodes said.
For more information about Eagle's Wings, visit www.eagleswingskids.org. Tax-deductible donations can also be made by mail to Eagle's Wings, P.O. Box 441, St. Charles, MO 63302.