Clanton First United Methodist Church Office Manager Lynn Best (left) and Children's Minister Christi Mitchell display items of clothing donated to Christ's Closet, the church's first-ever back-to-school clothing giveaway, scheduled for Aug. 2.
Clanton First United Methodist Church Office Manager Lynn Best (left) and Children's Minister Christi Mitchell display items of clothing donated to Christ's Closet, the church's first-ever back-to-school clothing giveaway, scheduled for Aug. 2.

Archived Story

Church to hold back-to-school clothing giveaway

Published 4:56pm Friday, July 25, 2014

Back-to-school shopping can be expensive, especially for families with more than one child in school.

Clanton First United Methodist Church is among several local groups aiming to help alleviate expenses by giving away clothing and other items, free of charge.

For the first time, CFUMC will open Christ’s Closet to the community from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 2 in the Helen E. Parrish Activity Center, located on the church campus.

Christ’s Closet is a back-to-school clothing giveaway open to everyone in Chilton County.

“We just want to give free clothes to people who might need them for back-to-school time,” CFUMC Children’s Minister Christi Mitchell said. “I know that this is a time that people tend to spend a lot of money, and people might not have a lot of money to spend. This is a really good way for people to get good stuff without it costing anything.”

Students who will attend school in the fall, from preschool to teens, are eligible to receive up to three outfits (a shirt and pair of pants), one backpack, one jacket and one pair of shoes.

Mitchell said she and fellow CFUMC employees Lynn Best, Elisabeth Smith and Pastor Rob West formed the idea for Christ’s Closet.

“We’re pretty good about feeding the hungry, but we had never clothed the poor before,” Mitchell said. “Really, anybody who needs clothes can come and get some clothes. We’ve had an overwhelming response in donations, so I have lots to give away.”

Mitchell sorts through bags full of donated items, including clothes and shoes, to be given away through Christ's Closet.
Mitchell sorts through bags full of donated items, including clothes and shoes, to be given away through Christ’s Closet.

Although the giveaway coincides with the back-to-school period, anyone in need may come by and receive clothing and other items.

Adult clothing will be available as well.

“Most of what I’ve had donated has been from age 3 to college,” Mitchell said. “We have plenty of adult clothes, too. So many people cleaned out their closets this year, and it was very timely.”

Mitchell said from 8–11 a.m., individuals would be eligible to receive up to three complete outfits, along with a jacket, pair of shoes and bag.

After 11 a.m., items will not be limited.

“We have a lot of name brand things that people have given, and it’s in really good shape, so I wouldn’t wait until 11,” Mitchell said. “They can always come back at 11 and get more.”

Donations of gently used or new clothing, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, coats and more will be accepted at the church until 10 a.m. July 31.

Donations can be brought to the church office at CFUMC, 207 Eighth St. N. in Clanton.

For delivery instructions or more information on Christ’s Closet, contact Christi Mitchell at CFUMC at (205) 755-0490 or children@clantonfumc.org.

Volunteers are also needed to work at the giveaway Aug. 2, Mitchell said.

Volunteers’ tasks include greeting people as they come in, giving them bags and helping them find items.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Mitchell at the church.

Mitchell said any items leftover from the giveaway would be donated to the Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center or other local charities.

“We’re just following what we’re supposed to be in ministry, and that’s to be the hands and feet of Jesus and give people what they need,” Mitchell said. “I’d like to see it turn into something that happens year after year. Our goal is just to help people.”

Trinity Episcopal Church in Clanton is also accepting clothing for Christ’s Closet.

Trinity will hold a monthly food giveaway through the church’s rice and beans ministry Aug. 2, the same day as Christ’s Closet and West End Baptist Church’s “Pack to School” project.

Visit ClantonAdvertiser.com or see future editions of the newspaper for more on Trinity Episcopal Church’s beans and rice ministry.

To read about West End Baptist Church’s “Pack to School” project, click here.

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