LUBBOCK, Texas — Estacado High School football head coach William Blaylock and his wife Khalilah Blaylock have always been about lending a hand and helping out in any way possible, especially when it comes to their students. After putting together a successful clothing drive a few months ago, they’re back at it again. It’s the same cause, but a slightly different crowd.

Back in April, Texas Tech University’s chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame put on its annual scholar-athlete awards banquet.

“You had kids from all over the Panhandle who were receiving scholarships, and they had blazers and button up shirts and ties,” William Blaylock said. “The two kids from Estacado didn’t.”

That pushed the Blaylocks to get to work to help level the playing field for their students.

“We started with the boys closet, and we had so many people in the community that wanted to donate to the boys,” said Khalilah Blaylock, success coach at Estacado High School.

Their men’s dress wear drive is still going strong. Dozens of people have dropped off jackets, pants, ties and shoes for the young men. It turns out, they weren’t the only ones in need. 

“The next question was, well, what about the girls?,” Khalilah Blaylock said.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Khalilah recently got the women’s clothing drive up and running.

“A lot of our parents aren’t in white collar communities,” Khalilah Blaylock said. “They’re working multiple part time jobs trying to make ends meet, and oftentimes, the clothes that are a necessity, which is what they wear to school every day, those are more important. It’s a financial burden when they have to go out and get an outfit that their kid may only wear one time.”

Ja’Lee Carver is Estacado’s JV girls basketball coach who said she dresses up nice for game day to set an example for her players.

Ja’Lee Carver, Estacado’s JV girls basketball coach, dresses up for game day to set an example for her players.

“When you look good, you play good,” Carver said. “Same with coaching, and same with my girls. I’m really big on discipline and how you carry yourself and what you look like. I tell my kids all the time, you don’t just represent yourself, you represent so many other people, so what do you want people to remember you by?”

Anything from a job interview to an awards ceremony, young ladies can also now find what they need to rise to the occasion.

“It brings me pride because I know my students are not going to feel uncomfortable when they’re in a situation where they cannot have access to the clothing that they need,” said Angelica Wilbanks, principal of Estacado High School. “It’s a huge impact. It’s going to be great for our students. It’s just another resource that they now have access to.”

Growing up an athlete, Khalilah said she learned how to function in many different realms. Now, she wants to pay it forward and share that knowledge with her students on the east side who maybe haven’t been exposed to environments outside of where they live.

“We want to make sure that they have that so that they’re prepared, and on an equal playing ground with anybody else that has the proper attire,” Khalilah Blaylock said.

The team is accepting donations of the following items:

  • Dresses
  • Dress shoes
  • Heels
  • Prom dresses
  • Pumps
  • Skirts
  • Work pants

If you would like to contribute, you can deliver your items to Estacado High School’s campus (1504 East Itasca Avenue). The Blaylock’s can also pick up items from you, and you can schedule that by emailing Khalilah.