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Closet opens to community
Times photo: Brian Gray Christine Dieckhoff, left, and Brenda Fowler, both of Brodhead, organize clothes at the Brodhead Community Closet on Saturday. It was organized by six Brodhead churches to provide free clothing to anyone in the community. The Closet is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month at the Pierce Furniture clearance building at 17th Street and Third Avenue.
BRODHEAD - The Brodhead Community Closet's opening Saturday ran hot and cold.

The weather outside was chilly, and snow fell throughout the morning and afternoon.

Inside, however, the atmosphere was warm and friendly as volunteers organized the clothes and people came in to find something to take home.

The Closet is the work of six community churches, Bethany Lutheran Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Living Word Tabernacle, St. Rose Catholic Church, United Methodist church and the United Church of Christ.

The idea started after the UCC Women's Guild members talked about the need for a place where people could pick up clean, reasonably new clothing for no charge.

"People have to go to either Monroe or Janesville if they want to get used clothes. This makes it easier for them," volunteer Kathy Scott said.

Volunteer Brenda Fowler said the Community Closet provides an important service to people in Brodhead.

"We have all sizes and all kinds of clothes," she said.

Clothes for children, women and men, all clean and ready for wear, are found at the Closet, which is located in the Pierce Furniture clearance building at 17th Street and West Third Avenue.

Scott said the UCC Women's Guild collected and distributed clothing in December to see how much of a need there was for such a program and how well it would be attended by people in the community.

The guild found there was a need and that people would come.

From there the program expanded to include other churches in Brodhead, Scott said.

"All of the churches accept clothing and they'll bring them here," Scott said. "Each church will also have volunteers here during every month."

The closet is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month.

Organizers hope to have a few months with clothes fitting a specific theme as the year goes on, Scott said. There has been talk about having prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses available later this spring and school clothes and winter clothes in the fall.

"It's nice to be able to have a place that offers free clothes to everyone," Fowler said.

More information about the Community Closet is available by calling (608) 897-2917.