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Eagle's Wings nonprofit helps St. Louis-area kids in need

In 2015, Eagle's Wings helped 118 children. Last year, they helped 606 children in need.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — Behind an unremarkable door in St. Charles, Missouri, is a most remarkable walk-in closet.

Here you'll find enough inventory of new shirts, pants, coats and shoes to make Bloomingdale's envious.

"I shop any store," said Donna Rhodes with a smile. "Every place. Online, too, using coupon after coupon."

But there are no price tags on these items because these clothes aren't for sale. Every last item will be given away.

Welcome to Eagle's Wings.

"Eagle's Wings is a nonprofit organization in the St. Charles area where we provide all brand-new clothing to children in need," said Eagle's Wings President Audrey Ryan.

It all started during the 2014 holiday season, when a group of ladies at a local church wanted to give Christmas presents to some children in need.

"The children had on their wish list, 'I want underwear,'" Ryan recalled. "Most kids don't ask for underwear at Christmas time. They ask for an Xbox or new toys."

That's when the ladies knew, it was time to roll up their sleeves to help these kids and others like them. 

The process starts when three St. Louis-area school districts identify children in need, Eagle's Wings come into a school in the district and sets up a shopping center for the children to pick out brand new clothing.

Eagle's Wings serves schools within the Orchard Farm, Francis Howell and Wentzville school districts twice a year, according to their website.

They give out new clothes and other essentials children may need.

Donna Rhodes' exercise is to accessorize. She does all the organization's shopping.

"So I keep track of every size we have," she said.. "How much we have in each size, how many children we need to outfit and then I know what I need to buy."

You can often find Rhodes at Walmart, Target, Kohls or anywhere else she can find a bargain.

"She gives endless hours to this organization," said Ryan, who is Rhodes' sister. "She's all about the children. She just wants to see them smile."

"It was a blessing because I've been struggling with stuff, so it's really helped out," said Stephanie Cusimano.

It's been a tough year for Stephanie Cusimano and her three kids.

But for her children, Eagle's Wings is a little sunshine in their storm.

"They came home, they were all smiling," she said. "They showed me their new clothes. They were excited about getting new shoes and new pants and new jackets."

In their first year back in 2015, Eagle's Wings helped out 118 children. Last year, thanks to generous donors, that number was up to 606.

"I'm just so thankful to be a part of it," said Rhodes. "And I'm just happy it brings total joy."

Helping families hang a little more dignity in their kids closets.

The volunteers at Eagle's Wings showing us all that giving back never goes out of fashion.

"It means everything," said Cusimano. "It really does."

Click here to learn more or donate to Eagle's Wings. 

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