Update: Local program to provide uniforms to children in need

UPDATE from TPSD: Please note changes due to shipping delays.  Distribution will now be conducted on
Monday, August 17 through Friday, August 21 at L.E. Fletcher Technical College (across from Houma Junior High) at 310 St. Charles Street from 9 AM through 2 PM each day.  Please use the entrance closest to Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Original story:

The Terrebonne Parish School District announced today the “Joe Waitz/Martin Folse Back-to-School Uniform Program,” which will provide new uniforms to qualified children in grades pre-K through 8th.

“Our community has had many difficulties between COVID-19 and our local economy. This has resulted in hardships for many families,” reads a statement from TPSD. “Mr. Waitz and Mr. Folse are life-long friends who wanted to give back to a community that has given so much to them.”

“We have a lot of life-changing circumstances going on with this COVID mess, and there’s been a lot of lives and a lot of jobs that have been lost…People are struggling every which way,” said Joseph “Joe” Waitz Jr., Terrebonne Parish District Attorney. “We’re just trying to find another simple way to give back.”

Martin Folse, founder of HTV 10, said he sees the concerns of returning to school of parents, students and teachers. “…I think we can step in and help at this point, and try to help a few families, at least not have the burden of what their kid is going to wear to go to school,” he said.

The program will provide two shirts and two pairs of pants per child, while supplies last.

Distribution will take place at the A.D. Martin, Jr. West Park Special Education and Federal Center, 7573 W. Park Avenue in Houma, on Aug. 14, 17, 19 and 21, and at Ellender Memorial High School, 3051 Patriot Drive in Houma, on Aug. 13, 18, and 20 (see updated information above).

Waitz said they are aiming to provide $15,000 to $20,000 worth of uniforms. “We are trying to target the kids that are most in need,” he added.

Superintendent Philip Martin was instrumental in making the program happen, Waitz said. “He’s a great superintendent, and it’s a pleasure to work side-by-side,” he added.

The program is still accepting donations, Waitz said. “It’s a great cause,” he continued. “One hundred percent of whatever we collect goes straight to the children.”

Folse said anyone interested in donating can contact Martin.

“I think a lot of us have been blessed in this community,” he added, “and it’s our chance of giving some back and trying to help somebody who’s having a tough time.”


Photo by Anita Jankovic.