Local News Archive
Print Issue: December 9, 1971
Clothes Closet Assists Needy
By Michael Motes
You certainly can't beat the prices: coats, jackets, dresses and ladies suits -- 25 cents; girls' dresses, blouses, skirts, slacks, men's suits, pants and sweaters -- 10 cents; and children's clothes, nightwear, underwear, pocketbooks and men's shirts -- a nickel.
The bargain center is in the Community Clothes Closet in Roswell, which is currently helping over 200 needy families in the North Fulton area.
Staffed and financed jointly by the community churches of Roswell, the Community Clothes Closet opened last August.
Two years ago, Msgr. Donald Kiernan, pastor of St. Jude's Church, asked Mrs. Jan Chaput, chairman of the St. Vincent de Paul Auxiliary, to think of a project to help the poor of the North Fulton area. The idea of a rummage sale was suggested by Mrs. Virginia Wilson, also a member of the auxiliary.
After the success of the first rummage sale, Protestant churchwomen of the area asked to help with the next sale. By the third sale, it was decided that a permanent shop needed to be opened to house the many items of clothing that the church drives were gathering.
Mrs. Mary Rose Tuohy of St. Jude's, co-chairman of the Community Clothes Closet with Mrs. Pat Brown of St. David's Episcopal Church, points out that the poor of the area have little access to Atlanta shops and that the Clothes Closet is "a blessing indeed."
The shop is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on surplus food day, the first Friday in each month. Visitors are given three free items per family each time they come to the shop and are allowed to purchase as many other items as needed.
In addition to clothing, the volunteer staff of the shop keeps a "needs book" for the families, recording such items as household appliances, coal and fuel that the families desperately need.
"Naturally, during the winter months, many of our families need blankets," says Mrs. Tuohy. "We have recently obtained $200 worth of blankets that are ready for distribution at the shop. Many houses of the people we help have poor heating and some have bedrooms with no heat."
On Sunday, Dec. 5, over 200 people attended a tea at the Roswell Community Center for the benefit of the Community Clothes Closet. Each guest was asked to bring an item of wearing apparel, wrapped as a Christmas gift. These will be distributed to needy families. Mrs. T. M. Taylor of the Roswell Presbyterian Church was chairman of the event.
Mrs. Betty Burger, chairman of the Clothes Closet Needs Committee and member of the Roswell Second Baptist Church, issued invitations to the tea, instructing guests to "Bring a gift and put Christ back into Christmas."
In addition to the volunteer workers from the community churches, the students of St. Jude's School assist in the operation of the shop. Recently Sister Karen Kelly, principal of St. Jude's brought a group of sixth grade students to Roswell and cleaned the Clothes Closet.
Mrs. Dottie Uidell and Mrs. Pat Kelley of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mrs. Vickey Finney of Roswell First Baptist, and Mrs. Virginia Blackwell and Mrs. Mary Lee Wells of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are also members of the Clothes Closet board of directors.