some kids the best gift ever would be a Care Bear or an action
figure. To others, the greatest toy ever is just a pair of
Closet sees increased need for donations |
Stacy Wright, Staff Writer
Williams watched as a mother and her 3-year-old son walked
into the Clothes Closet one afternoon.
them a couple of pairs of clothes and socks. She went in the
back to find a pair of underwear.
"We were low on
inventory and I finally came up with Bob the Builder
underwear," Williams said. She handed the underwear to the
mother and the mother gave the underwear to her
"He grabbed the package of Bob the Builder
underwear and would never let go," Williams said. "Here was
this 3-year-old with Bob the Builder underwear hold it like
he'd been given the greatest toy ever."
More and more
families from the Carrollton-Farmers Branch area are making a
trip to the Clothes Closet, a non-profit store that is used to
assist students and their families with 'gently-used' clothing
"We give away a tremendous amount," Williams
said. "This year, we've seen a 300 percent increase in
Last year, the Clothes Closet provided 439
children clothes in the 15 days of operations. This year the
Clothes Closet has provided 433 children clothes in the four
days of operation they have had.
"We have 11 more days
to go and we are already at the number we had at 15 days last
year," Williams said. And those numbers do not include what
the Clothes Closet provides to nurses and counselors who come
in for help.
Williams said she believes the increase is
because of the economy and movement in the community. She said
majority of the families come from Farmers Branch.
donations are not really down; it's just our need is up,"
Williams said. Approximately 47 percent of the 26,000
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD students come from low-income
homes, according to Charles Cole, assistant superintendent of
student, family and community services.
With a high
demand comes the need for more donations.
All items in
the Clothes Closet are either donated or purchased with
monetary donations. All sizes of gently used clothing are
accepted for adults and children. Williams said the closet is
always low on boys and men's clothing.
"When we get our
donations in, we have our sorting process," Williams said. "If
it's ripped, or has paint on it, we won't put it out." She
said they try to keep what 95 percent of people would pick.
Anything that is not kept is sent to the Salvation Army, where
they have washing machines to take out paints and stains on
clothing. Bedding, pots, pans and other items are also sent to
the Salvation Army.
Counselors and school staff must
refer a student to the Clothes Closet. Once the student is
referred he or she and the family may come to the Clothes
If the student attends a school with uniforms,
he or she may receive one uniform and four gently used
outfits, some pairs of socks and underwear. Students who do
not attend a school with a uniform may receive five gently
used uniforms, some pair of socks and underwear.
members may receive five gently used outfits. Everyone is
allowed one coat and a pair of shoes if they are available. No
cost is associated with the all-volunteer operation, which is
put on by the Council of PTA's.
"It's really important
that people understand for a child's success in school,
clothing is an important thing," Williams said. "Hopefully we
can touch a few of them to help their self-esteem so they can
walk through those doors and feel good about
Williams said it is difficult for some
people to come to the Clothes Closet.
Variety types of
families come for help. Some income earners have gotten laid
off. For others, there are large families who only have one
"Many of them are not only providing for
themselves and children, they are also providing for their
parents too," Williams said. "Part of it is just the nature of
Williams particularly remembers a young
man around the age of 21 who visited the Clothes Closet last
school year. He was working and taking care of three children.
"He came into the Clothes Closet and literally had no
clothing," Williams said. The man was attempting to raise his
two nieces and nephew.
This school year, the man came
back and has full custody of the three children. "He was kind,
courteous and even offered to work in the place," Williams
She said he just needed help and the Clothes
Closet was a way to get it.
For information on the
Clothes Closet, visit http://www.cfbisd.edu/pub/clothescloset.htm or call
Contact staff writer Stacy Wright at
972-538-2118 or email@example.com.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Educational
C-FB ISD Council of
C-FB Clothes Closet
Ranchview High School