BUTTE-A new store is coming to the Mining City; Bulldog Outfitters is a new free store coming to the Butte Plaza Mall to help students look and feel their best while at school.
Inspired by a similar program in Kalispell, the Butte School District will open Bulldog Outfitters in the next few weeks. The store will be located between Golden Ticket Cinemas and It's Greek to Me in the mall.
The store will provide clothes and hygiene products to all students in need K through 12 in the district.
Curriculum Director Jim O'Neill says Butte has the highest child poverty rate out of the seven most populated counties in Montana. O'Neill says as a former teacher and principal, he would see students come to school days in a row with the same clothes.
He adds 1 in 5 students in Butte suffers from child poverty.
The store will be based on the honor system and O'Neill says they're accepting donations of new or gently used clothes. He adds they're also accepting new toothbrushes, shampoo and other hygiene essentials.
"We'll have students coming to school feeling better about themselves and having more pride and Butte people there is no one like Butte people, they'll help out anyone and everyone no matter what the situation is," said O'Neill.
He adds the district wants their students looking and feeling their best each day at school.
Once the store is open, students are asked to bring their student ID or their bus pass.
O'Neill says they hope to have the free store open in about a month. Volunteers will run the store and it will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.