Visitors at the Central Church of Christ Food and Raiment Day this Saturday will find well-stocked racks of clothing, including winter coats, rainwear, shoes and boots.
Organizers say this is the first time in recent memory supplies of recycled garments and footwear were in balance with the expected need. In most years, the church had to make emergency appeals to the public for clothing donations.
“We’re well-supplied and ready to meet the needs,” said Central member Becky Wilmore as she and other volunteers were sorting, sizing and racking garments last week in preparation for the giveaway event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the church benevolence and classroom annex. “When we posted our needs in the church bulletin, clothes came in baskets. People were very generous, and as a result we are in good shape for the giveaway.”
The clothing distribution is free and open to anyone who needs assistance. An added benefit is the complimentary luncheon of soup, sandwiches and desserts in the Central fellowship hall during the same hours.
“We consider it a privilege to be able to serve the community in this way,” said Charles Bogle, one of Central’s elders. “It’s truly a blessing to be able to offer a meal and free clothing to anyone who has a need.”
“In Warren County almost 36 percent of our families have less than $25,000 a year to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves, to re-fuel their cars and to send their children to school,” Bogle continued, citing recent U.S. Census data. “In the Warren County School System, nearly two-thirds of our students are eligible under poverty guidelines for the federally subsidized free and reduced-price lunch program.
“Just talking about the numbers seems sterile, but the brutal fact is that we have a great many children and parents who are really suffering daily hunger and lack of appropriate clothing and decent housing,” Bogle continued. “Our profession of the Christian faith requires the practice of Christ-like compassion and love.”
Visitors may park in the church lot just west of North Spring Street and enter the back doors of the clothing recycling center in the benevolence annex.