Community Clothes Closet: It takes a village

·2 min read

WALKERTON – The basement at St. Paul’s United Church in Walkerton looks more like a clothing store the first Thursday morning of every month.

The Community Clothes Closet is open to anyone who might need some summer tops, a couple of pairs of pants to wear to a new job or an outfit or two for children who seem to grow out of their clothes overnight. There are clothes for both men and women, children’s items and some baby clothes.

Co-ordinator Deb Sutherland explained the initiative got going in December, to assist people who’d lost their jobs due to COVID. Then came another COVID lockdown and doors remained closed until March. Now everything’s back and “shoppers” are pleased.

Most of the “gently used” clothing has been donated by members of the congregation, and they’ve been generous. Sutherland said the Community Clothes Closet is temporarily not accepting donations of spring and summer clothing.

She noted the term “gently used” is a bit of an exaggeration – some of the clothing still has tags.

The clothing is available at no cost to “shoppers.”

Sutherland said, “They can take clothing home to try on, and they’re welcome to bring back what they don’t need – or pass it on to someone who can use it.”

She noted some people who come in just enjoy browsing.

“We’re here to serve the community,” Sutherland said. “We welcome everyone.”

The initiative fits in very well with the vision for St. Paul’s – “You are not alone.”

Sutherland said, “We support people as best we can. We have a great core of volunteers; some belong to the church and some are friends of the church.”

For her and the busy group of volunteers, the reason for the Community Clothes Closet is simple – “It takes a village.”

The Community Clothes Closet is open the first Thursday of every month, 9 a.m. to noon.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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