Human Services

Clothesline for Arlington Kids

Arlington, VA


Our mission is to collect new and clean, gently used quality clothing from the community, and distribute it free-of-charge to low-income school-aged children in a welcoming space.

Ruling Year



Ellen Moy

Main Address

2704 N Pershing Dr

Arlington, VA 22201 USA


Free Clothing for Children; Support for Low Income Families





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Thrift Shops (P29)

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Clothesline for Arlington Kids

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Our mission is to collect new and clean, gently used quality clothing from the Arlington (VA) community and distribute it free of charge to low-income school-aged children in a welcoming retail-like store. Over 8,000 kids in the Arlington schools receive free or reduced-price meals, or nearly 1/3 of the students in the County. We aim to provide those children high quality clothing that allows them to feel comfortable in the classroom and focus on schoolwork. Likewise, we also provide a local resource for families that want to donate their quality gently- used clothing to be re-used within the community.

With the generous donation of new and gently used clothing from Arlington residents and businesses, The Clothesline provides a welcoming, fun, retail-like environment for low-income families to shop for and select a season’s worth of quality clothing twice a year (summer and winter) – completely free of charge. Clients choose a week’s worth of clothing for each of their school-aged children, including: 5 tops, 4 pants/skirts, 5 new underwear and socks, 2 dresses or formal-wear, coats, pajamas, bras, shoes, and accessories. We aim to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for low income families to get the clothes their kids need to feel comfortable at school.

The Clothesline is a volunteer run organization, led by our two founders. Ellen Moy is the proud mother of two children in the Arlington schools and has long experience in clothing retail operations. Benjamin Sessions has worked for over 20 years in finance, helping to build and grow businesses. The Clothesline’s activities are made possible through the invaluable support of over 100 volunteers that help process clothing donations, work with clients, and assist in administrative tasks. We work closely with social services agencies in Arlington County as well as social workers at Arlington Public Schools to ensure that families in need are directed to our store. In a similar fashion, we also work with local PTAs, youth organizations, and local businesses to source high quality clothing for donation to The Clothesline.

We keep track of the visits of our clients and the clothing we give away at each visit. Clients of the Clothesline must annually demonstrate their need by providing either (i) a free/reduced price food letter from APS for each of their qualifying children or (ii) a signed referral letter from a social services agency or social worker. With over 8,000 schoolchildren receiving free or reduced-price food from the schools, over the next 3 years we hope to provide 15% or more of these kids with a new wardrobe twice a year. We periodically follow-up with social workers and social services agencies to receive feedback from clients referred to The Clothesline.

The Clothesline started operations and served its first clients in August 2018. Since then, we have delivered nearly 1,700 full wardrobes of clothing to 950 school children in Arlington – totaling over 43,000 items of clothing given away. Over this initial period, we have built relationships with social services partners in the community and established ourselves as the donation destination for quality children’s clothing in Arlington. Looking forward to 2020, The Clothesline hopes to deliver over 1,400 wardrobes to families in Arlington. We also will work to deepen our connections in the community as a key part of the network of social services.

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Clothesline for Arlington Kids

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

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Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

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Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

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