This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
If someone you meet today needs clothing, and that someone has no money, where will you send them?
Good question. When ten people are asked, five say they don’t know, another five think that maybe one church or another has a clothing closet. In our community there needs to be one answer to that question that serves the interests of the whole community and that EVERYONE knows about.
Enter; Middletown’s Community Clothing Program (MCCP)
- St Vincent de Paul Middletown (SVDM) will act as a bank for clothing vouchers issued by Goodwill Industries of Southern Connecticut (Goodwill). Once monthly, Goodwill will send SVDM vouchers for free clothing based on earmarked donations received the previous month. Multiple drop locations are listed on the back of the donation card.
- Persons/families needing clothing will be treated to a dignified retail shopping experience in which they make their own selections. Selection will be the best available in our community.
- SAVINGS: Community clothing closets will no longer have to maintain staff for guest hours, receiving, sorting, cleaning and storage of clothing.
- NO CASH CHANGES HANDS. Clothing is managed by a successful and professional non-profit organization (Goodwill). Vouchers can only be used to purchase clothing or small household items.
- To participate, social service organizations, members of the faith community, individuals and businesses must all actively promote the donation of clothing, shoes and textiles to Goodwill USING A SPECIFIC DONATION CARD which identifies SVDM as the administrative agency of record (cards now available!).
- A participating non-profit or other social service agency serving our community can request vouchers from SVDM for an immediate client need, by phone or via email. Vouchers can be picked up same day or mailed same day based on urgency.
- Anyone else needing clothing can be referred directly to SVDM. A Case Manager will conduct a brief interview with the individual to see if the need for clothing might be an indicator for a deeper issue that we can potentially assist with, such as medical, mental health or addiction service, food assistance, housing, employment or other needs.
- INSTRUCTIONS: Donations presented to Goodwill without a donation card will not generate vouchers. Request as many donation cards as you would like from SVDM. They will be mailed to you. Only one card per visit is needed at Goodwill. There is no receipt. Give the donation card to the worker and ask them to record the size and quantity of bags/boxes in your donation. Light household items are accepted in addition to clean clothing, textiles and shoes.
The MCCP is yet another example of how our community can work together to solve real problems, like the consistent availability of clean appropriate clothing for those in need. Won’t you please join us? Call Peter Keast, MCCP Coordinator at 860-344-0097 X-16 with questions or to get your supply of donation cards. We hope to receive our first vouchers by mid-September and monthly thereafter. You can also email Peter at [email protected] Thank You!
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