Mon July 9, 2012
Wisconsin charity provides clothing to those in need
The economy is driving people to charities that provide free clothing, and sometimes employment counseling. It's hard to says how many of the agencies are operating in Wisconsin, because they are often small scale and offer services by referral only. One in the Fox Valley is helping thousands of people every year.
The Community Clothes Closet is tucked away in Menasha. It helps roughly 16-thousand clients every year, most of whom are referred by other social service agencies, churches, or schools.
The closet offers clothes for the whole family--freeing up budgets for things like rent, transportation, or food. That's valuable to Veronica who was picking up some things for herself and her kids. "It's hard right now, we're without a job, we're just trying to get back on our feet again," she says. "This is the first time I came and we like it."
One of the group's missions is to give professional style and dressy casual clothes to people going on job interviews. The Community Clothes Closet offers resume counseling and works with a local salon on makeovers.
Over the years, Executive Director Diane Bishop says the Closet has had many success stories, like that of a man who became ill. "He lost everything because of the cancer," she says. "He went through all of his savings, everything. Well it went into remission, he was able to come in here we had the perfect suit for him. Put it on and he got the job at another big box store. So we're really excited about those success stories and there's been a lot of them which there were a lot more though."
Bishop says her clientele has expanded by nearly five-thousand people a year since the recession began.