By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Clothing Bank, located in the basement of the New Salem United Methodist Church at 12550 Highway 136 on Lookout Mountain, is open every Thursday for anyone in need.
Community members will find all types of clothing, including undergarments, as well as a small assortment of household items. Everything is free.
“Clothing wise, we will take just about anything, just as long as it is in good shape,” volunteer Margie Eash said. “Everything is always changing. I would like to start off the New Year by thanking all who have donated their clothing through the years.”
The clothing bank is open every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. except for in inclement weather. The clothing bank is fully run by volunteers. To volunteer, call Eash at (727) 415-3607. Each volunteer is asked to do a shift once a month.
Becoming a volunteer is simple. The person will need to unlock the door at 10 a.m., turn on the lights, and supervise the shoppers, who are asked to sign in. At 1 p.m., the door will need to be locked again. The amount of people who come to the clothing bank vary, but on busy days, as many as 15-20 people can come shop.
Eash would love to be able to open the clothing bank on Saturdays, if more volunteers sign up.
Shopper Gina Murphy was at the clothing bank, picking out clothing for a friend who is on a fixed income. Murphy has also volunteered at the clothing bank in the past.
“I have seen people come in and break down in tears. People have come in for clothing for court, for school. It’s a smorgasbord of all different kinds of people. Most people have a need, but some come in because they are looking for something that they can’t find anywhere else,” Murphy said.
Murphy continued, “I’ve never spoken to anyone who wasn’t grateful that this place is here. This place blesses a lot of people. I have really enjoyed working here.”
Eash agreed with Murphy, remembering a family’s house that had burned down last year. The family came to the clothing bank, and they were able to get the things they needed.
According to Eash, women from A Hand UP Ministry have also come to the clothing bank to get church clothes and nice work clothes.
“It is great service, and it keeps it out of the landfill. I like recycling. These are nice, recycled clothes. It is a win-win,” Eash said.