By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Community closet plans to offer free clothes - no questions asked
Placeholder Image
MONROE - A free community offering of clothes and possibly assorted hygiene items will soon be a reality for area residents who are in need of support.

Rick Gleason used to work in Brodhead where a similar program has been run for years. He said the idea to bring this kind of help to the Monroe area was never realized until recent conversations with Pastor Paul Watkins of the Monroe Church of the Nazarene brokered an opportunity.

"We were talking about how he wanted the church to become more involved in the community, and he brought up that he had an empty basement," Gleason said, recalling the conversation that revealed a location for items he had kept in storage and future donations to the project.

"It's an opportunity for community service," he added. "It's important however we can help. There is a huge need, especially for young mothers with children."

However, the plan is to start small. Weeks of planning have been dedicated to reaching goals and organizing donated materials such as hangers and wall slats. Gleason joined together with Green County Leaders, who named the program the Monroe Area Clothing Closet, and now finishing touches are being made to implement the free clothing program. It is set to begin in early March.

Through his work with Family Promise of Green County, Gleason said he has gathered a number of clothing items that surpass needs met by the agency. A storage room of items holds bags and bags of donations he is looking forward to sorting for the clothing closet. Gleason said his posts on social media have elicited more than 100 messages interested in the new clothing ministry.

These posts were partly how Arianna Meier and five other Green County Leaders looking to fulfill a community service requirement. The idea of a volunteer-based space where people can pick up items they may need for everyday situations, in an emergency or on occasions like a job interview appealed to Meier.

"It's a place where they can go and not feel judged," Meier said. "For people who may be in really tough situations, this is a no-questions-asked program."

Meier and Gleason both added that MACC would not necessarily be limited to people who have financial struggles. Gleason said that though it might seem a bit peculiar that someone with a stable income would use the facility, at the Brodhead Clothing Closet he found that some people in that situation not only donate good quality clothing but also donate funds to the facility. Even volunteers could take items home if they found certain clothing items to suit their style.

The plan is for MACC to be open every Monday from 3 to 7 p.m. Volunteers can work in two-hour shifts or stay for the entire block of time. Gleason said duties would basically include sorting donations that come in, greeting people who stop in and helping people who may have questions. Organizers already have posted information about MACC on the Green County Volunteer Network.