By Kimberly Petersen, Plymouth County Volunteer
There are many needs I hear while volunteering at The Clothes Closet – “I need new socks, all of mine have holes in them”, “I need some nice clothes in case I get to go to church this Sunday”, “I need a coat, mine got stolen.”
However, many needs are hidden in their statements; if you listen closely, you can hear them very loudly. “Do you have an extra-large hoodie because I am going into placement,” becomes, “I need security in this uncertain and scary time in my life.” Or “I don’t need anything, I just came to bug you,” becomes, “I don’t need physical items, I just need you to listen to me and spend time with me.” Our YFC kids come with various needs, and we are working hard to listen to all of them.
I have been volunteering at The Clothes Closet since December, and there has never been a night of “no needs” even if clothing isn’t taken. The Clothes Closet is a fun shopping experience for kids who would like something new. It is also a place where they are safe to say they don’t have a way of getting something they need. It is a place for our kids to come and spend time talking, as well as help to organize our donations and feel helpful and needed.
Clothes are not the only items we have for them, but also hygienic items, make-up, hair products, and accessories. One student came specifically because he hadn’t received a haircut for a long time, and didn’t have a comb or hairbrush. Likewise, we have teens looking for deodorant or facewash, because they don’t want to get made fun of at school.
We rely on donations of these items and there doesn’t seem to be a lack of them. I have one faithful student helper in particular, Grace (name changed), who is ever present and happy to help put together outfits to showcase. This has been a source of pride for her, happily taking pictures of her work and gaining confidence in herself, one outfit at a time. Our donations come from various areas, some even as far as Sioux City, which is no doubt caused by word of mouth and prayers.
Our kids come in often waiting for our doors to swing open, happy to come in, to go through our racks, our jewelry, and our hygiene products. Oftentimes our conversations turn into, “How are you doing today?” or “What can I do to help you right now?” And many times leading to prayer requests, just listening and validating them.
It is a blessing to have such an outreach for our young people for their physical and spiritual needs. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”, Phillippians 4:19. Thank you everyone who donates, prays, and spreads the news of The Clothes Closet, helping with our teen’s needs. This ministry has been placed on my heart and I can’t wait to see where Jesus takes it!
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