WHO WE ARE
We are a completely volunteer based organization who came together with a common purpose of serving those in need. A social worker once said to us: “When you have been through a hard time and feel completely messed up on the inside, it helps to at least feel good on the outside.. and your clothing does that for our clients.”
The Caring Clothes Closet was started by a Shady Grove United Methodist Church member who was actively serving with United Methodist Family Services. For many children, arriving at United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) for the first time can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. Whether they are entering the Child and Family Healing Center, Charterhouse School, or Treatment Foster Care, they are often overwhelmed with the adjustments they have to make; a new bed to sleep in, a new adult to turn to for help, a new place to call “home”- just to name a few. In addition to all of the adjustments they have to make, more often than not, children are arriving to UMFS with just the clothes on their backs and a few other items to get through the current season. For years, UMFS accepted clothing donations and shoes on campus, but storage space was a constant issue. A member of Shady Grove UMC began helping with clothing needs by taking clothing donations and working out of her garage. After the donations became too much to handle out of a small space in the garage, they were moved to the church campus and the Caring Clothes Closet (CCC) was born.
In April 2017 the CCC became a 501C3 and has increased it's reach within the Metropolitan area.
To help people build a better quality of life that leads to security, independence and peer acceptance by providing free, high-quality clothing in a supportive setting.
To facilitate and distribute donated high- quality clothing, and comfort bags, to people in the Richmond area who are in a short- term crisis or extended at-risk situation.
The CCC is pleased to report that almost 1,300 clients were served in 2019 which was a 21% increase over the previous year. In addition, almost 14,000 pieces of clothing were donated to partner organizations and there was a distribution of almost 780 items through our BAGS 4 KIDS program. The CCC is on target to serving almost 10,000 clients, since its inception, which we hope to meet in the next year or so.
The CCC has a working board of 9 members including: an accounting manager who serves as Treasurer of the organization; an attorney; a financial planner; a VCU educator; and a mental health expert.
The CCC is a completely volunteer run organization with a strong management team of 7 including: a mental health expert; retired special education teacher; and an experienced program manager. In addition, the Executive Director/Founder has 30- years of leadership experience in the retail and business fields.
Each manager has a designated area of responsibility including: client relations, outreach, partnership development, volunteer coordination, and program management.
There is also a strong volunteer base with approximately 80 people on the volunteer list with about 1/4 of those active at any given time.
Currently the CCC operates in two locations. The primary location is on the Northside occupying almost 2,000 square feet with plans to double the size in the next few months. The second location is in the Short Pump area and serves as a donation and sorting site but will soon be offering retail shopping as well.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Founder and Executive Director – Sara Fender
Director – Jenn Bradshaw
Training Manager – Nancy Willard
Intake Coordinator – Angie Wetzel
Outtake Coordinator – Judy Lewis
Calendar and Communication Coordinator – Dottie Chilton
Bags 4 Kids Director – Jody Floegel
President – Sara Fender
Vice President – Jody Floegel
Secretary – Jennifer Bradshaw
Treasurer – Karen Lee
Corresponding Secretary – Angie Wetzel
Beanie Kelly – SGUMC Associate Pastor, Ex-Officio member