Flipping flapjacks to raise money for needy children has proved to be successful for Hesperia Unified School District’s charity The Caring Closet. Last year, the organization collected enough funds to purchase clothing for quite a few High Desert youngsters from underprivileged families.

According to Jessica Soto, family resource supervisor for The Caring Closet, the event was so successful that the district decided to hold it again this year. It will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. Feb. 27 at Applebee’s Restaurant, 19201 Bear Valley Road, Apple Valley.

“We are always looking for ways to fund this much-needed, valuable program so we never have to turn a family away,” said Soto. “Our local businesses and restaurants have played a big part in helping us accomplish our mission and we are very grateful to them.”

According to Soto, The Caring Closet began in 2002 under the name The Clothes Hanger.

She said it came about as a result of HUSD recognizing a great need among students in financially restricted situations to have suitable clothing to wear to school.

This included those who were homeless or in need of temporary assistance due to an unforeseen financial crisis, Soto said.

The Caring Closet serves students in pre-school all the way through 12th grade. Youngsters who are in need of clothing assistance are identified by HUSD staff members. Once their parent or guardian is notified that their child has been chosen for the program, they are asked to sign a consent form. Upon completion, their child becomes eligible to receive clothing.

“It’s amazing how many kids in the High Desert don’t have proper clothing to wear to school,” Soto said. “We feel that when they are forced to wear tattered and torn clothes, it really affects their confidence, which can in turn affect their ability to do well both socially and academically.”

Soto said The Caring Closet program is made possible through district employee donations, community contributions and fundraisers. 

“Our employees here at the district have stepped up in wonderful ways,” said Soto. “They have been so integral in being able to keep this program going and growing.”

Tickets to HUSD’s Flapjack Breakfast are $10 and $5 of the fee will benefit The Caring Closet. Kids under 10 eat free. Along with pancakes, the meal also will include eggs, bacon, sausage, orange juice and coffee.

In order for the event to take place, Soto said the charity must have at least 100 reservations. She encourages anyone interested in going to sign up as soon as possible.

To purchase tickets, call 760-244-4411, ext. 7290 or 7250. Tickets also can be purchased in person at HUSD’s Family Resource Center, 9144 Third Ave. in Hesperia.