The Clothing Room, part of The Ministry Center located at 917 South Main, Maryville, is seeking fall and winter items including blankets and towels.
Current items needed include:
• Clothes and shoes of all sizes, including seasonal items such as coats, jackets, sweaters and long pants.
• Blankets and towels are always needed, including any sort of bedding, including comforters, bedspreads, sheet sets and throw blankets.
• Small kitchen appliances including toasters, coffee makers and microwaves.
• Kitchen items including cookware, pots and pans, mixing bowls, cooking utensils, dishes and silverware.
• Small home decor items that can fit on a shelf.
• Toys that will fit on a shelf. Dolls including Barbie dolls are always in demand. Games and puzzles are accepted but clients are warned that these may or may not have all the pieces.
• Books including children’s and adult fiction, as long as they’re not too racy, and non-fiction.
• Purses and backpacks.
“We’ll only put out things that are nice and in good condition,” Clothing Room Director Rachel Golightly said. “We can outfit the unfortunate in our community quite well.”
The Clothing Room donates out-of-season clothing and other items it cannot use to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, a local charity.
There are no income guidelines to use the Clothing Room. On the first visit, individuals will need to bring a photo ID. If homeless, released from prison or other circumstances, exceptions will be made for not having an ID. There is no limit to how much can be taken. During check-out, items are counted and recorded into four categories, women’s, men’s, children’s and miscellaneous.
By counting the categories, it allows the Clothing Room to determine what is needed. Golightly said women’s and miscellaneous items are the most taken categories.
There is a drop spot on the south side of the building for donations which need to be secured in bags or boxes. Donations can also be brought into The Ministry Center through the south door during The Ministry Centers open hours. The Clothing Room is open 2 to 4 pm, Tuesdays, and 6 to 8 pm, Thursdays.
The Clothing Room is completely staffed by volunteers who spend about 100 hours per month working at the facility. It gives out 3,500 items per month and averages 20 families each day it is open.
The Clothing Room saves Halloween costumes all year to have a display near the front door the month of October. The same is done for Christmas clothing. These are put by the front door in November and December.
Golightly said these items are saved to make an event for the Halloween costumes and Christmas clothing.
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