The Yacolt Community Church will host a free clothing drive for women and children on June 17 and June 18.
Tandy Miller, the church’s care coordinator and leader of the women’s ministry, said this will be the church’s fourth year running the event which is open to everyone. With the increased cost of goods across the country, Miller said the drive is more important than ever for people who are in need of clothes.
“The idea came from a lady at our church, Dianne Kroll, who used to go to a church that had a similar event like this,” Miller said. “And so we started it four years ago and it’s been slowly getting bigger and bigger.”
She said the event experienced a “slow start” in its first year. Then the year after was when the COVID-19 pandemic started, which prompted the event to move outside. This year, it will be indoors once again. Miller wants to do what she can to get clothes to people who need them.
“I feel like this year in particular, with the economy the way it is, it will be very appreciated by people, because maybe people don’t have extra money to spend on things like new clothes,” she said. “They’re trying to make the old stuff last. I think in the past, we thought of helping people in our immediate community who had a greater financial need where this might be helpful for them. However, we never limited it. We just trusted people would come and get what they need and that’s how it’s kind of worked out.”
When the event first started, Miller said people couldn’t believe the clothes were free, so the church received more donations than they were able to give out.
“I think they felt like ‘oh, I’m not in need, I’ll just donate.’ But really, if you can cut out an expense in your budget such as clothing, I think it can benefit anybody no matter where you’re at financially,” she said.
Now that people understand the clothing drive is open to everyone, Miller said more people have shown interest.
“That’s our goal, which is to bless the community,” she said.
One way people have spread the word is by discussing it on social media and tagging their friends in posts related to the event, she said.
Although the church is grateful for the donations they receive, Miller said they still look for quality clothing.
“We’re not looking for just any cast-off clothes that people have,” Miller said. “We want good clothes that are ready to wear, not your old greasy T-shirt. We want nice clothes that people can use when they walk out of there.”
She also said Kroll meticulously looks through the clothing donations to ensure they are of a good quality. The number of donations also slightly increases every year, Miller said.
At this time, Miller said the church has two large boxes worth of clothes for the drive. They pick up donations twice a week.
Miller said the leftover clothes from the drive will be given to Open House Ministries, which helps families in need of housing, work, or other resources.
The drive will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 17 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 18.
The Yacolt Community Church is located at 509 W. Cushman St. in Yacolt.
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