‘Couldn’t have dreamed for it to be better’

A local youngster who ached to help needy families got his wish in a big way Saturday.

Taylorsville Elementary School third-grader Keaton Stephenson, 8, staged a clothes giveaway Saturday at the City Farmers Market at the FairOaks Mall parking lot in Columbus. The new and used clothes — donated by the Stephenson family, some of their friends and others — were for boys and girls, from preschool sizes to preteen.

The family called the event Keaton’s Closet for Kids.

Keaton and his parents, Columbus’ Lee and Sunny Stephenson, were stunned at the response when they went home with only one small box of items from several racks and tables full of clothes — including additional items that arrived after a Republic preview story interview late last week. They said they gave away more than 1,000 donated items

“The turnout was incredible,” Sunny Stephenson said. “I couldn’t have dreamed for it to be better.”

Some people, including a retired local teacher, arrived to present the boy with a card for his kindness and to offer words of encouragement.

Keaton and his parents are planning to coordinate another giveaway next year.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.