In western Pennsylvania, “gutchies” is slang for underwear and many grew up with that terminology.

The “Gutchies for Kidz” program began with the Quota International Club of Hermitage and was introduced to New Castle by then-President Connie McMichaels of Connerly’s Cleaners. McMichaels started collecting items such as underwear, socks, pajamas and long underwear for children in our area.

The United Way has been working with many families dealing with various issues such as homelessness, and these items are very much needed during the winter season.

The “Gutchies for Kidz” drive will run until Dec. 29, and the sizes for boys and girls are 4 to 2xl. The donations will be collected at the United Way of Lawrence County, Connerly’s Cleaners, Spiritual Path Church and Rep. Aaron Bernstine’s office, Ellwood City.  

The items will be distributed by the MidwesternIntermediate Unit IV office and Wendy Kinnear, regional coordinator for homeless and foster care children in our area.

Kinnear said, “Children are often coming from homes with inadequate clothing and this need unfortunately keeps growing in our region.”

The New Castle Area School District understands the need for this collection, according to Brian Rice, social worker at Lockley Elementary.

Rice reported at the school’s open house that “Most of all, our children need attention and love, and the tangible need right now is basic clothing such as underwear, socks, T-shirts, and long underwear.”  

What is collected will be donated to children in all school districts.

If any organization, church, club, school or business would like to be included in the collection, please contact the United Way office at (724) 658-8528 or unitedway@comcast.net.

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