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Changing clothes and lives at the Community Giving Closet

Posted at 8:04 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 21:04:28-05

HOWARD — The Community Giving Closet at Hope Community Church in Howard is changing lives one shirt at a time.

Denise McGinnis started the closet after recognizing a need in the community for a place where people can donate, exchange and take home clothes free of charge.

"We have a lot of people come through here who are very grateful," McGinnis said. "Some people have came back and told us how they got an outfit that they've worn to a job interview, and it's helped them get a job."

The closet opens its doors on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 2-6 p.m. They've been welcoming people from not only Brown county but all over Wisconsin for 10 years now.

McGinnis said she's grateful because they have boxes upon boxes of donations and a great group of volunteers to hang and organize all the donations. They also have clothing for all sizes and styles, and their reach goes far beyond the typical t-shirt and pair of pants.

This past homecoming season, McGinnis said they had over 100 girls stop in for dresses, and 73 dresses were gone in just one day.

Now that winter is approaching, McGinnis said it's more important than ever to get the word out because winter gear can get expensive.

Doreen Roberts said she found the closet very impactful in her life when she first started shopping there four years ago with a friend, so she decided to become a volunteer herself.

"I used to be addicted to shopping online for clothes. No more. Now I just trade in my old clothes," Roberts said. "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. That's what we're all about here."

Roberts emphasized that there aren't any income requirements for using the closet, and many people just enjoy shopping in a greener way.

"No judgement. People can come in," Roberts said. "Whatever you need...we get all types of people here."

"Help your neighbor who might not have a ride here to come and get here. Help your community. Help your environment," McGinnis added.

For more information on the Community Giving Closet, find their Facebook page here.