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New jeans can help provide a fresh start for those who have been victims of abuse. This is the inspiration behind the denim drive happening at the local Maurice’s to benefit the Children and Family Center in Maryville.

Starting Aug. 26 customers can bring in a gently used item of denim clothing and receive 25% off of their in-store purchases. The idea for the drive comes from Maurice’s company directive to encourage its stores to be involved in its community.

Each Maurice’s was allowed to choose the individual organization of its choice, the only rules were that the charity organizations had to have no religious or political affiliation.

Maurice’s store leader Tayler Dow chose the Children and Family Center of Maryville because it helped get her out of a bad situation. 

“I personally got out of a violent, abusive relationship when I was nine months pregnant with my child,” Dow said.

Having first-hand experience in leaving an abusive situation, Dow explained why simple things like jeans can mean so much to victims.

“You feel like you have nothing and a lot of those women might leave with literally nothing to escape a bad situation,” Dow said.

Dow wants to give back, she feels as though the Children and Family Center is often overlooked when it comes to charities in the area.

Julia Day is a victim’s advocate and volunteer coordinator for the Children and Family Center. Day said that donations are a crucial part of keeping the center running because often times the victims are starting completely over.

“A lot of times in abusive situations, the abuser is the one in control, and so they are in control of finances, in control of transportation and all of that, so (the victims) still need something as simple as jeans,” Day said.

Dow is aiming to go beyond just jeans for the drive, however. Dow hopes that people will bring in donations of everything, from food to baby toys, to help out the center.

The Children and Family Center helps victims find new homes and houses for those who have no place else to go, so they need more than just new clothes to help victims get back on their feet. 

“We personally are taking anything that you could use in that situation,” Dow said.

Part-time Assistant Manager for Maurice’s Jessica Davis has been encouraging customers to donate everything they can and even buy jeans in store to donate. Davis praised the Maryville community for striving to help those less fortunate early on in the drive.

“We’ve had a lot of people support it in Maryville; you can see that the whole thing (donation bin) is full. It’s full and it’s only been going on for a day,” Davis said.

Dow hopes to get a large number of donations. Dow decided to extend the drive from the original dates of Aug. 26 to Sept. 9 to ending on Sept. 19 in hopes of increasing the amount of donations received.

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