Hello! My name is Erin Bell, and I am the coordinator for the Clothing Ministry at DPC. I would like to take a moment and elaborate just a speck on what our closet does and how we could best use your help.
As you probably already know, each week our church hosts a free breakfast on Saturday mornings for homeless and urban poor guests. We are currently averaging about 150 guests a week at the Saturday breakfast. We are grateful to Betsy Bahn who had the idea to incorporate a clothing ministry into the existing meals ministry. What began as a kernel of an idea has evolved into an essential opportunity for blessing others and meeting real needs in a meaningful and powerful way! Now, in addition to a hot meal and fellowship, our guests can also receive clothing and toiletries, along with a few other miscellaneous items!
Word has spread that we have a clothing ministry, and we are a hit with the community! Despite the fact that the closet is currently only open on Saturday mornings from 8:30-9:30am during the Saturday morning meal, we are currently averaging 60-75 closet visitors a week! At this time, we do not have the supplies/materials or volunteer power to open more often than that and still meet the needs of our Saturday guests. Additionally, many times demand is running a bit higher than our supply. As a result, we find ourselves seeking out additional donations as well as a running list of items (men’s pants!) we would love to be able to distribute.
Through our closet ministry, we hope to meet our guests’ needs for new-to-them clothing, shoes, and toiletries. We respectfully request casual clothing only, as this is what the overwhelming majority of our guests request and need. The list below will give you a good indication of the types of things that are in greatest demand and how your contribution can make a difference for those we serve. We also love having volunteers help with the closet. For more information, call the church office at 615-254-7584 or email [email protected].
Items most needed:
- men’s & women’s jeans, cargo shorts, athletic shorts, sweat pants/yoga pants
- men’s & women’s casual long and short sleeved shirts
- NEW men’s & women’s athletic socks, preferably white
- NEW men’s & women’s undergarments of all sizes
We do NOT accept:
- used socks
- used undergarments of any kind
- jewelry or similar accessories
- pajamas, sleepwear, nightgowns, lingerie
- mouthwash or razors
- medications of any kind
- children’s items of any kind
- women’s blouses that are sheer or require an additional shirt to be complete (we can’t guarantee our guests have these things, and it’s quite challenging to keep sets together in our bins)
Note that for now, we can accept gift cards to Wal-Mart, which will be used to purchase the items that must be supplied new rather than used. We do not currently accept cash for our clothing closet ministry.
More details on the ministry as well as other item lists can be found at dpchurch.com/clothing-closet/.