More than a century ago, on a cold and blustery day in 1907, a young boy stood on
the corner of Broad and High selling newspapers. He was dressed in torn clothing
and struggling to stay warm. “Paper! Paper! Get your paper,” he cried. From inside a
restaurant, three men watched as people sped by the young boy, barely noticing
The gentlemen felt sorry for the young man, brought him inside where it was warm
and took his papers. They stood on the corner for him and sold his papers, letting
all passersby know that the money raised was for charity. They sold every paper for
as much as they could and sent the boy home with more money than he had ever
seen to buy warm clothing for himself and his family.
The men contemplated how many other children were struggling in the same
situation as the young man they helped. Charity Newsies was born that day. That
same year, these men gathered other businessmen and, on the Sunday before
Christmas, the original 50 Charity Newsies members took to corners throughout
Columbus to sell a special edition of the newspaper to raise money for clothes for
The mission of Charity Newsies is that no child shall be kept out of school for lack
of adequate clothing.
Charity Newsies served over 12,600 children in the 2021-2022 school year.
Providing children with clothes for school has a huge impact. Ensuring that children
have clothes plays a role in promoting school attendance and reducing truancy. In
the study “Increasing Student Attendance: Strategies From Research and Practice,”
by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, they highlight an initiative from
Oregon focused on preventing truancy that includes a strategy of making sure kids
have appropriate clothing to attend. Research from the National Center for Children
in Poverty also highlights the relationship between lack of clothing for school and
truancy. Even the Ohio Department of Education acknowledges that, “Certain factors
related to poverty contribute to absenteeism. These include lack of transportation,
not having coats and boots, lack of clean clothes and the need for health care.”
In addition, clothes have an impact on performance. Psychologists have studied this
“enclothed cognition” and refers to the systematic influence that clothes have on
the wearer’s psychological processes. When children are dressed in brand new
clothing that makes them feel confident and self-assured, they are ready to learn
and ready to succeed at school.