MENASHA (NBC 26) — Back to school is in full swing, and for many families, this can be an expensive time. Especially for those who are operating on a tight budget already.
At the Community Clothes Closet in Menasha, the clothes were leaving faster than the donations were coming in.
"With back-to-school shopping, we've had so many families coming in,” said Lisa Jones, executive director of the Community Clothes Closet.
The closet’s mission is to provide free clothing to those in need. They serve over 2,000 people a month, and half of those are children.
“Us being able to help families meet that need makes a huge difference,” said Jones. "Some of our kids have three outfits. So for them to be able to come here and pick out additional clothing, it's important."
For school-age children, clothes can mean more than something to wear. It can be the difference of whether they get to participate in gym, or play with their friends at recess.
“A lot of our kids, if they don’t have proper snow boots in the winter, then they can’t play with their friends,” said Jones. “It makes sure they can fit in with their peers too.”
It’s an effort shared elsewhere as well.
"When people come in, the things that they are looking for are really those back-to-school staples,” said Gabrielle Dorn, Brand manager at Goodwill NCW.
The prices of goods are still higher than many people would like, and it’s causing a rise in customers at thrift and consignment stores.
"I feel like families are really feeling the squeeze on their wallets and going to thrift to be able to save on those items,” said Dorn.
Here's the good news: when the Community Clothes Closet advertised that they were in need of children’s clothes, the community support came in droves.
"The community definitely responded very positively and restocked our racks this week,” said Jones.
They had an outpour of donations come in.
You can donate to the Community Clothes Closet at 1465B Opportunity Way in Menasha Monday through Friday 9am - 1pm and Monday evenings 6-8pm.