HOUSTON (June 17, 2021) – Houston-area students from kindergarten through 12th grade will have access to new socks and underwear through United Way of Greater Houston’s Project Undercover, a citywide collection drive to benefit students before the start of the school year. Donations to the drive will support students in the four counties served by United Way, including Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Waller, as well as the Bay Area. Studies show 1 in 5 children don’t have access to clean clothes, often because their families are unable to provide these items due to financial constraints. Students without clean clothes often miss school, which is a leading factor in high school dropout rates. After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic placing additional financial strain on families, the urgency for basic needs has grown exponentially. In 2019, Project Undercover collected over 35,000 pairs of socks and underwear that benefited 3,500 Houston-area students. In the four-county area served by United Way, 47 percent of households struggle to make ends meet. Project Undercover makes it possible for students in lower-income families to wear brand new socks and underwear when they begin the school year, setting them on the path to success in school. Donations can be made through an online registry until July 31, 2021. Area corporations, churches or community organizations are also encouraged to host collection drives to engage members during the summer months. “All kids deserve to feel comfortable and confident when they leave for school every day despite their financial situation,” said Emily Faron, volunteer engagement manager for United Way of Greater Houston. “As more and more students return to in-person school this fall, we want to make sure they are prepared for success. A donation of clean pair of socks and undies can increase a student’s attendance rate, therefore increasing the chances they achieve academic success and graduate from high school.” For more information on Project Undercover and to make a donation, visit www.unitedwayhouston.org/projectundercover. ### About United Way of Greater Houston For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to address the complex challenges holding people back. We are a driving force for good that connects our neighbors with opportunities to thrive. We help our neighbors achieve financial stability. We provide services that support the physical and behavioral health of families and youth along with educational services that expand their skills and horizons. We provide a safety net that catches the most vulnerable. We manage every donation with care to make the greatest impact across the four-county region of Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. We connect neighbors with help 24/7 through our 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. For more information, please visit, www.unitedwayhouston.org.