HOUSTON The Houston Independent School District is holding an underwear drive for students in need.

Underwear is something most of us take for granted, but is something that can change the life of an underprivileged child.

For thousands of Houston-area children having a clean new pair of underwear is a luxury, when it should be a necessity, Rabbi Amy Weiss said.

Really it is the things that we don t see that are the most needed, she said.

Undies for Everyone was born after a brief encounter between Weiss and a school social worker.

Someone said to me all the things the kids (receive) are great but the truth of the matter is they really need underwear and socks, Weiss remembered.

Eighty percent of all HISD students are economically disadvantaged, 163,000 in HISD alone, 300,000 in the area.

They are getting free lunches, shoes, sometimes uniforms and backpacks and stuff, she said.

Last year the charity distributed 33,000 pairs, this year the plan is for 67,000 -- two at a time to elementary and middle school aged children in the Houston area, mainly at schools.

Rabbi Weiss has a philosophy.

It is not just about giving underwear to kids that don t have it. It is about building confidence and self-esteem, she said.

There is a reason for that connection.

Having no underwear or dirty underwear you are like a prime target for a bully, Rabbi Weiss said.

That is one reason that Rabbi Weiss would like to expand Undies for Everyone nationally.

In a perfect world we would be able to give every kid five pairs. But we can t yet, she said.

It is not about the cloth, it is about what such a small garment can give.

Who doesn t think that kids don t deserve dignity, she said.

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