According to a recent study by the Census Bureau, over 15 percent of the United States population, or 46.2 million people, are living below the poverty level. With the sluggish job market in the last several years, individuals are being forced to work fewer hours at a lower pay rate than they received in the past. These families are having difficulty providing clothing for their growing children or affording professional clothing for employment.
Organizations that operate a clothing closet ministry will collect a variety of items to distribute to the impoverished community. Clothing closets are filled with donated new or gently used clothing. The clothing given out in this program usually includes pants, shirts, shoes, suits, ties, and shoes. Donated clothing is provided by individuals, corporate retail organizations, or through monetary donations with which needed items are purchased.
Your organization may request professional and casual clothing for men, women, girls, and boys to ensure that they have appropriate clothing for all situations. It is also important to have a variety of clothing options available for all weather conditions, particularly the rainy and cold months.
Your organization may choose to operate the clothing closet ministry through set hours of operations that are advertised through websites, social media, fliers, and world of mouth. Depending upon the volunteers available, the hours of operations may run several days a week or even several hours throughout the month. If the volunteer staff is limited, the organization may run the ministry on an “as needed basis.” Instead of set hours established throughout the week, individuals in need may contact a representative of the organization to set up a time to view clothing options.
Some clothing closets will offer all of their items for free to individuals that can demonstrate financial hardship, while other organization will charge a very nominal fee for each clothing item. Charging a much discounted price may lead the recipient to feel like they are able to provide for their loved ones and that they are not dependent upon handouts to survive.