Often when the seasons change, less fortunate children are left without clothes that fit them or protect them from the weather’s elements. God’s Closet is a recently created organization in town that aims to fix that problem through community donations.
God’s Closet is a ministry of Adventist Community Services that engages Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout North America, providing new and gently used children’s clothes and shoes to local youth in need. Christine Briggs, the director of the local God’s Closet chapter, was reading about the organization in a magazine when she decided that Turlock should join in on the cause.
“Instead of donating clothing to organizations that resell the items, we can help out each other,” said Briggs. “Most kids outgrow their clothes before they wear them out, so it’s a good way for parents to have quality clothing for free.”
“It’s an easy way for people to help other people,” added co-director Mary Eckert. “Everyone has clothes that they aren’t using and can donate.”
The Turlock Chapter of God’s Closet is one of 18 chapters in the country, which includes locations in cities like Dallas, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina. God’s Closet has multiple drop-off sites throughout the city, including locations like Venture Fitness, Rainbow Fabrics, Turlock Family Vision Center, King Dentistry and Family Medical Group. The organization accepts children’s clothing for all youth, from the age of newborn to 18 years old. They ask that all donated clothes be gently used or new and free from any stains, rips or holes.
“The rule of thumb is whether or not you would let your own child wear it,” said Briggs.
At the beginning of each season and after receiving enough donations, God’s Closet will hold a Free Shop Day Event where the donated clothing is handed out for free to families in need. A small entrance fee ($1) is charged per family and depending on the amount of children in the family, bags will be provided to be filled with clothes. Day care in the form of a “Kids’ Corner” is also provided at each shop day.
As God’s Closet is currently accepting donations for the colder months, Briggs recommends that articles of clothing donated to the organization are items which will keep children warm, such as jackets, coats, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Briggs also noted that donations often include clothing that can be used for extracurricular activities, such as cleats, sports clothing or dance outfits.
Briggs and Eckert hope that the Turlock chapter of God’s Closet can receive at least 200 bags of clothing by the beginning of October, preparing them for their first Free Shop Day Event during the first weekend of November.
“We don’t care if the families who come in to pick out clothes are wealthy or poor,” said Eckert. “This is a community-based program.”
For more information on drop off locations and Free Shop Day Event dates, visit God’s Closet – Turlock on Facebook or call 209-417-9492.