Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Cleaning out the Closet ; Nitro Church to End Clothing Closet after 20 Years

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Cleaning out the Closet ; Nitro Church to End Clothing Closet after 20 Years

Article excerpt

After nearly 20 years of outfitting the community, the Nitro Church of Christ will be holding its last clothing giveaway Saturday. Becky Bailey, who helped run the church's clothing closet for seven years, said the church has decided to go a different route to help the community.

Bailey, who said she's not big on titles, except for "grandma, ran the clothing closet for seven years and had to take a three- year break. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and again in 2013.

The church is aiming to get more children involved with the church and away from drugs, Bailey said.

"The clothing was good, but I would love to try to raise a drug- free generation, Bailey said.

The room where the clothing closet was will be converted into a space that will better help the church's new mission.

The clothing closet began in 1997, started by ladies at the church, Bailey said. At that time it was one room with some clothes in it. After another church member, Dixie Davis, took over, the closet grew to include multiple rooms and a general store.

At one point, the church received 60 tons of donations in one year, and gave away everything from housewares to downhill skis.

Oftentimes people would try to show her forms to prove that they needed the assistance, which Bailey said was never necessary.

"I don't care if you had a job and made $100,000 a year, if you wanted to come to the giveaway that was fine with me, Bailey said.

Some of it was a balancing act. Though it was obvious that some people may have been taking clothing to sell at a yard sale, the profits from the yard sale might be the only thing paying their gas bill, Bailey said.

Bailey said it was important not to judge, because you never know what kind of situation the person might be in.

She saw incidents in which a mother and children would leave an abusive husband and father with only the clothes on their backs.

"I knew there were people who didn't need clothes, but children were coming in and they had to leave the house in the middle of the night because daddy had been beating on them, and they forgot their shoes, Bailey said. …

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