Friends of the Children

Friends of the Children President-elect Darris Duncan (left) and President Cheri Daniel. Rachel Adkins | The Daily Independent

ASHLAND For the past 115 years the Friends of the Children have cared for needy students in the Ashland Independent School district.

The group is now made up of 40 women with a mission to clothe students ranging from head start to high school to insure their self worth is known.

“They will walk straighter, their head held higher, you know they feel like their blending in a little bit more with the kids and they are so proud and that translates to if a kid feels good about themselves sometimes they do better in school,” said Darris Duncan, president-elect of Friends of the Children and teacher at Oakview Elementary School.

President Cheri Daniel said teachers in the district will inform their family resource centers of which students would benefit from the organization's efforts. Every week from September to December of each school year is then dedicated to shopping trips with the students, allowing them to pick out their own clothing. This coming school year students will have the opportunity to choose two shirts, two pairs of pants, underwear, socks, a pair of shoes and a winter coat.

Daniel said students will be brought to JCPenney each morning and will have the store to themselves, making it a special occasion. The cost of clothing the students is about $100 for a primary student and $150 for a secondary student, she said. This school year 290 students were clothed by Friends of the Children for a total of $37,238. If a student needs additional clothing later in the school year for instances like a field trip, Duncan said Friends of the Children will step in.

Daniel said the organization runs solely on donations, noting a patron letter is sent out at the beginning of each school year seeking to raise funds. Donations to Friends of the Children can be sent to P.O. Box 1128 Ashland, KY 41105-1128. For more information on the organization visit its Facebook page.

(606) 326-2653 |