God’s Closet hosts Free Shop Day

Submitted photos Scores of families shopped for clothes at God’s Closet.

ELKINS — The Elkins Seventh-day Adventist Church recently kicked off a ministry that is brand-new to our area. The church opened the 40th chapter of God’s Closet, an international ministry that gives local families the chance to participate in a Free Shop Day to provide new and gently used clothing for their children ages newborn through teenager.

The Elkins God’s Closet director, Becca Jacko, began working with the church members months ago to prepare for the God’s Closet event. The group collected clothing donations from local families and several children’s consignment shops, both in Morgantown and Richmond, Va.

On the day of the “sale” families paid an admission fee of $1 per family to help defray the cost of running and maintaining the program. They then entered the church’s school complex to fill their shopping bags with as much clothing as would fit in the bag. Additionally, each family received a free winter coat, a free pair of pajamas from the “Pajama Project,” a free pair of shoes for each child, a free toy or book, free bedding and free baby equipment such as strollers and Pack-N-Plays.

“We were so excited to have over 270 people come to our first God’s Closet event. We gave away thousands of clothing and other items to help families get ready for school.” Jacko stated. “We want to have four of these events a year, but that will depend on collecting enough clothing for the next giveaway and securing the funding we need to complete our gym so we can have a space big enough to do our next program.

“There is a great need for this program, and our community can support it by regularly donating good used children’s clothing. We want to build the program to where every three months moms can come to the God’s Closet Free Shop Day and replenish the clothing as their children outgrow their old clothes.

Moms went home with bags packed with good clothes.

“The goal is to get a give-and-take cycle of donating and replacing their children’s clothing. That way families always have the clothes they need for their children,” she said. “We want to thank all of our volunteers for their hard work in preparing for and running this event. We also thank RCBOE and North School for allowing us to use their parking lot.”

The program has an ongoing need for good quality used children’s clothing for the next Free Shop Day event. Donations may be left anytime in the foyer of Highland Adventist School at 777 Kennedy St. in Elkins or in the blue bin on the porch of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Brushy Fork Road in Buckhannon. Announcements about program activities as well as the dates of the next Free Shop Days will be posted on the God’s Closet Facebook page at facebook.com/GodsClosetElkins/. The page also has helpful information about how, what, and where to donate to God’s Closet in its NOTES section.

A ministry volunteer welcomes guests to the first God’s Closet Free Shop Day.