As kids went back to school and colder temperatures snuck in, Community Clothes Closet of Menasha noticed an increased demand for clothing and personal care products. Inventory was turning quickly, and the nonprofit wanted to do more to fulfill its mission of free clothing to all people in need.
At Jake’s Network of Hope, our warehouse is often overflowing with items like these! We were quick to partner with Community Closet as the organization launched its Traveling Closet to reach more children who need adequate apparel and bedding.
“Jake's Network of Hope has been instrumental in sourcing high-priority need items like bras, large-sized clothing, athletic shoes and children's apparel,” said Executive Director Lisa Jones. In fact, Community Closet sourced 7,457 items from Jake’s, including socks, underwear, sports bras, hoodies, Nike shoes, blankets, bedsheets, pillowcases, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, hairbrushes, sanitizing wipes, toilet paper, paper towel, hand sanitizer, and mouthwash.
“Clothing can open the door to a better future,” Lisa said, “When kids have the clothing they need, they are safe from the Wisconsin weather, more self-confident and participate more in the classroom."
The Traveling Closet made its debut on October 13 at the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, in partnership with the Oshkosh Area School District. Children pre-registered for the event, and nearly 1,500 items left the truck to students. The truck will be available for monthly distributions, with November’s truckload focused on winter gear, from snow pants to winter coats, winter boots and gloves for elementary-aged children.
Community Closet accessed many of these goods through Jake’s My Neighbor program, which provides essential daily living items to qualified partners - nonprofits, school- or faith-based organizations, for sharing fees that cost a fraction of retail value. January through October this year, we've distributed 56,820 daily essential living items to partners, who then share with people participating in their programs.