The Community Clothes Closet | Meeting community needs, one garment at a time

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Sarah Gray/Democrat-News

Clothing hung neatly from racks along the walls and was carefully organized on shelves at The Community Clothes Closet where volunteers from First Baptist Church prepped for their opening day.

The Clothes Closet offers a wide assortment of clothing for men, women, youths and infants — and its all free. Volunteers are excited to reopen, after having been closed last year due to the coronavirus.

Volunteer and church member Saundra Lasher stated The Clothes Closet will be open from 9-11 a.m. on Saturdays, beginning this week, April 10.

First Baptist Church member Saundra Lasher organizes clothing at the church’s Community Clothes Closet in preparation of its opening day.
Sarah Gray/Democrat-News

“But they can always call and make an appointment if we aren’t open,” she explained.

People have already been utilizing the service, which was inspired in an effort to meet a need in the community. The Rev. Wayne Doolin said the church wants to be a place to help.

“There are many avenues in Marshall that meet needs of individuals — Community Food Pantry and so forth, the thrift store. There are many opportunities to minister to people in the community, and we just want to be Jesus,” he said. “Jesus would look upon the multitude and see a need. … If someone needs clothes, if someone needs food, if someone needs help with their rent or their light bill, that’s why we do Salvation Army. We want to make a difference in our community and be a place that people can come to and sense that someone cares and someone will try to help.”

First Baptist Church member Phyllis Duvall works in The Community Clothes Closet at the church, which provides free clothing to community members.
Sarah Gray/Democrat-News

The Clothes Closet has been providing clothing to the community since the early 1990s. It was started by Mary Beth Frazee, Mariam Anderson, Dorothy Turnbaugh, Joy Little, and Tom and Marjorie Shirley. Volunteers now hold to the same standards as they always have.

“If kids don’t have shoes, or a man needs shoes to work — there were people that came yesterday … and they took good stuff,” church member Phyllis Duvall said. “It’s all good.”

Donations are always accepted, and volunteers ask that they be gently used. The church does not have the capacity to sew, repair and launder clothing donations. Likewise, clothes in good condition also provide a quality selection.

The Community Clothes Closet at First Baptist Church in Marshall can be accessed via a ramp from the north parking lot. A donation bin is also located here (seen left) for small donations.
Sarah Gray/Democrat-News

“We’re thankful for the donations that we get, because we wouldn’t be here if people didn’t donate,” Lasher stated.

A tub located outside the church at the top of the ramp is available for dropping off small donations. Anyone with a large donation should call the church office and make an appointment to meet with one of the workers.

There is a large assortment of clothing available to the community. Men’s slacks, T-shirts and pants, women’s slacks, dresses and casual clothes, children’s clothing, scrubs, and accessories, such as shoes, scarves and hats, belts and purses. Lasher and Duvall also stated they receive donations of household items. Some of those have included blankets and dishes.

“We care about your physical needs, but we also care about your spiritual needs,” Duvall stated.

It’s a statement inscribed at the bottom of an informational card volunteers give to anyone receiving clothes. That sentiment was echoed by Lasher.

“We just want to let them know that we care,” Lasher said of the church.

The Clothes Closet is located at First Baptist Church, 8 N. Odell Ave. To access it, park in the lot on the north side of the church and walk down a ramp to its basement entrance. Volunteers will be there from 9-11 a.m. on Saturdays indefinitely. Appointments can also be made by calling First Baptist Church at 660-886-5546.

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