BUTTE, Mont. - Winter is on its way, especially in Butte, which just had its first snowfall of the year on Monday. Soon students will be bundled up in coats and gloves, but what about those who can't afford warm clothing? There's help: Bulldog Outfitters.
Bulldog Outfitters is a volunteer-run clothing store in the Butte Plaza Mall that provides underprivileged students the opportunity to get what they need.
Students are welcome to pick three tops, three bottoms and any hygiene products of their choice, completely judgment-free.
Traci O'Neill, the wife of founder Jim, says that Bulldog Outfitters has been able to provide clothing consistently for students this school year, and she credits that to the community's generosity.
"Bulldog Outfitters wouldn't be here without the help of the entire community," O'Neill said. "Everything was donated, from the paint on the walls to the carpet on the floor. The Butte Education Foundation was instrumental in getting this organization up and running."
Bulldog Outfitters warn born out of the first annual Safe School Summit in 2019 and has been in operation for about 15 months now. And while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has certainly presented a challenge, O'Neill says that hasn't stopped the store from achieving its goal of helping needy students.
"I think [the pandemic has] probably made this store even more vital to the community," O'Neill said. "We mask up here and ask those that come in to mask up as well, and actually, everybody's been really good about it."
At the moment, Bulldog Outfitters' hours of operation are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Why such a specific window? That's the time that most students get off from school.
And yes, Bulldog Outfitters is taking donations. They need boys' pants and all the winter clothing they can get, so if you've got something you'd like to give someone less fortunate, you can stop by Bulldog Outfitters on weekday afternoons and drop it off.