Caring Clothes Closet

A clothing ministry by people who care to help provide comfort and support to others in need.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  John 15:12
 
The Caring Clothes Closet is a local project designed to address the immediate needs of people here in our community by providing free clothing to families experiencing financial difficulties or crisis. There are two ways you can help:
  • First, forward any needs, individual or those of an organization, and the needs will be met on a first come, first serve basis based on the contents of the closet.  
  • Secondly, donate!  The CCC needs new or gently used clothing of any gender, any size and a tax receipt can be provided upon request.  (In addition, we are always in need of new under garments and socks for kids of all ages.)  See the donation guidelines below for updated needs.

t-Shirt Fundraiser in May 2016

The Caring Clothes Closet has designed new t-shirts that are available as a fundraiser.  Please visit http://www.companycasuals.com/SGUMC-CCC to place your order.  Payment should be made to the church office during the week (Monday-Thursday 9-5 and Fridays 9-3) or put checks in the offering plate on Sunday marked "CCC tshirt" in the memo.   Questions?  Contact Gregg Butler at gbutler@shadygroveumc.net or 360-2600.

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How We Got Started

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.

While the Caring Clothes Closet was started with the needs of UMFS children in mind, another clothing need arose for the clients of CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter - a partnership of churches who provide housing for the homeless).  A need for free clothing for both foster kids and families in crisis was identified so the CCC started reaching out to other agencies who serviced these groups.  As of April 2015, in a 17 month period, the CCC has serviced close to 1,000 people out of the ministry by partnering with five other agencies in addition to UMFS.  People within our own immediate suburban area are also helped in times of crisis such as fires, displacement, job loss, etc.  To date, clothing has been provided for abused families, malnourished children, sibling groups pulled from their homes weeks before Christmas, and the homeless.  All of the CCC clients, in one way or another, have been left, forgotten, abused, scorned and neglected.  In some small way, this SGUMC ministry is giving them back some of their dignity and hope.  The CCC volunteers are a group of teenagers to seniors who have worked tirelessly to help clothe some very deserving people. Learn more about our partner agencies and read some client testimonies.

Bags 4 Kids

Bags 4 Kids (“BFK”) is a program that provides bags containing comfort items and necessities to children going into foster care in the Richmond area.  BFK is an outreach of the Caring Clothes Closet (“CCC”) and was created due to a need to provide clothing from the CCC in a more suitable carryall than a grocery bag. The program has grown to also include smaller comfort bags that are kept on hand at the offices of social workers and is currently servicing all children entering the foster care system through United Methodist Family Services and the Henrico County Department of Social Services.   Learn more about Bags 4 Kids.

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can get involved as it truly takes a village to operate a ministry such as this one.  Other than the new building in which the CCC is currently housed, it is a ministry that does its own fundraising to be financially independent from the church and relies on the generous clothing donations from the community to be successful.  Learn more about how you can get involved.

Our Partner Agencies

We partner with several agencies in the Richmond area to provide clothing and Bags 4 Kids to clients.  Learn more about our partner agencies.

Client Testimonials

Many of our clients have written notes to express their gratitude.  Read client testimonials.


At the core or heart of Christianity is the fact that we should be caring people. Having a heart that cares shows that we are seeking to be like Jesus. 

If you yourself are of need, please contact us and we will make every effort to help.  The CCC does not have any set hours but arrangements can be made to meet people on an as needed basis.  We also have open houses every few months, so let us know if you need a schedule.

Contact Information: 
Sara Fender at ccc@shadygroveumc.net or 804-360-2600, ext. 51.

Donation Needs and Guidelines

We are in need of the following items:
  • Men’s gym shorts
  • Men's shorts
  • Men's size 30 and 32 pants and jeans
  • Men's XS and S tops
  • Boys' size 2T and 3T
Not in need at this time/DO NOT take:
  • We do not accept any used undergarments of any kind or size except girls and women’s sports bras.
  • We do not take imprinted tshirts unless they are Nike, Under Armour, etc.  Please no school or sports teams. 
  • We do not take girls shorts or women’s shorts unless fingertip length.
Donation Guidelines:
  • Donations may be dropped off at any time to the CCC.
  • Please put donations in wicker trunk on the front porch. 
  • Please put folded clothing in grocery bags.  We also take clothing on hangers if easier for you.
  • We can provide you with a tax receipt if needed.  Please let us know if you need one. 

For questions, please call 360-3907, ext. 51 or ccc@shadygroveumc.net.  

Thank you so much for your cooperation and support.

Publicity

Sara Fender, founder of the Caring Clothes Closet, was interviewed on the Care Advantage segment on WRIC in June 2015.  Watch video HERE.