Ives Chapel UMC hosting first clothing closet Saturday
Cathy Gilges has wanted to start a clothing drive to donate clothing to those in need in the Baldwin City community for several years.
She had the idea with her when she represented her church, Ives Chapel United Methodist Church, at the 2010 annual Kansas East Conference. It turned out that attending the conference was added inspiration to get the project off the ground. Gilges, along with the church, has organized the Ives Chapel Clothing Closet, and the first clothing drive will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Ives Chapel UMC, 1018 Miami Street.
“I have felt it in my heart for a couple of years, and it was just like that just kind of pushed it over the edge speaking with other people that had done it and the joy that they have gotten from it to help the communities,” Gilges said.
Gilges said the plan is for the clothing closet to be a quarterly event, with the next taking place in November. However, Gilges said the clothing closet could end up being open on a more regular basis, depending on the turnout and response from the community. Gilges is also planning to work with the community emergency fund to help people who may unexpectedly need clothes, such as in the case of a fire or other emergency.
“We have no idea what type of response we’re going to have,” Gilges said. “I know the food pantry has a huge response, so unfortunately that’s the case, but I’m glad that there’s something here in the community to help in that aspect. We’re just kind of broadening the community effort and support for people that are in need.”
The church started collecting clothing with a drop-off period June 4 during the citywide garage sale. People can continue to donate clothing until Saturday and can contact Gilges to arrange the donation drop off. The only requirement is Gilges asks that the clothes are clean and in good condition.
Gilges and other community volunteers will begin setting up for the event at 10 a.m. Wednesday and welcome all who wish to help. With the first-ever clothing closet looming at the end of the week, Gilges is anxious for the day and to get everything ready. She also understands this first drive will be a learning experience.
“We’ve got a lot of clothing donated that’s like, ‘OK now we have to organize all of this and I’m sure we’ll make mistakes, being the first one that we’ve done, but it’s a learning process all the way through,’” Gilges said.
Any clothing not taken Saturday will be kept to be given away at later clothing closets, or people who are not able to attend Saturday’s event can contact Gilges or the church to receive clothing.
Ives Chapel UMC has also been collecting clothing items from its congregation on each of the Sundays of the last two months. On the last Sunday in June, members of the congregation brought packages of underwear and last Sunday members brought socks to donate.
While Gilges to organize the event, she said the response from the community to donate clothing already has been great and she was excited to see the support from the community.
“We are very fortunate to live in a community that is very supportive and, you know, likes to help others in the community,” Gilges said. “So yeah, we feel very blessed that we live here and we have such a good community response, no matter what it is, what need there is in the community, we always come through.”