Wall Street may be 3,000 miles away, but the signs of a down economy are clear to see here in Hesperia. Just ask educators who are increasingly seeing students arrive to school in near freezing weather - without jackets.


"Some of the schools have said this is the worst they've seen," said Carmen Becker, the organizer of last Saturday's clothing sale at the Hesperia Unified School District's annex building.


For just $5 per item, anyone could purchase a new pair of shoes, pants, dress or coat. A wide variety of sizes were available including several pairs of size 18 men's sneakers, which one shopper who bought several pair said he usually spends more than 10 times that amount.


The event, which was hosted by the school district's Clothes Hangar program, was greeted enthusiastically.


"Two-hundred people were lined up this morning at 8 o'clock."


Much of the clothes were first received by the district through the Department of General Services' Revitalization Program several years ago. Many of the clothes came a Los Angeles-area hospital who had purchased the clothes for brain-injured children. But after many of the young patients were placed into group homes, the hospital donated the clothes, which had been kepft in a 53-foot-long semi-truck trailer.


The shoes were donated from a prison.


"We probably sold half the shoes," Becker said around noon. "The boxes were stacked up high."


But the event couldn't have been a success without the volunteers, whch Becker said numbered 65. A group of volunteers from the district's Community Day School played a key role in helping out, she added.


School board president Dr. Robert Kirk and his wife Vicki and school superintendent Mark McKinney spent time at the event.


Many school district employees have helped The Clothes Hangar help needy school district families by donating money through payroll deductions to enture that the program has a diverse collection of clothes.


The event's success served as an affirmation for Becker and those involved.


"There shouldn't be a child in Hesperia that doesn't have shoes or a coat," Becker said.