Daniel’s Closet continues to clothe the cold despite temporary closure due to virus
Although Daniel’s Closet, the free clothing ministry at Redeemer Lutheran Church, decided to close until further notice due to the pandemic, the organizers realize the need for warm clothing and other essentials does not end with the closure.
Because of this, a trip past the church, located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Sherman Street, reveals bags containing such things as scarves, gloves and other cold weather necessities, pinned to the shrubbery along the church building.
“Last year we did this on the hedges for a little bit, socks and things,” said Carol Johnson, Vicar at the church.
“We’re trying because we know how that need is. We put out hats, socks, gloves and scarves,” she said.
Johnson has also set up a small rack for coats located near the Daniel’s Closet sign.
“We’re trying to put some things out there that people may need,” she said, adding that at some point she is planning to put blankets out in addition to the clothing.
Noting that some churches have a Blessings Box, Johnson said, “We have a blessings hedge.”
The church began the clothing ministry, Daniel’s Closet, in 2008. It is named after the grandson of Barbara Horn, who co-directs it with Johnson.
In addition to closing their monthly clothing giveaway, Daniel’s Closet is also not accepting donations at this time, so the items being distributed outside are from donations received prior to the shutdown.
“We’re trying because there are winter coats and those kinds of things,” she said of the items that have already been donated.
Johnson said that they are also taking things to New Covenant Church of Christ on East Third Street, which does have a Blessings Box, so that they can give away items as needed.
“They know if they need a coat to try to call us to see if we have what they need,” she said, adding that many of the local homeless population stop at that church requesting help.
While they are closed, the directors at Daniel’s Closet are urging people to donate items to the American Rescue Workers in order to support their mission of caring for the homeless.
While all items donated to Daniel’s Closet are offered free of charge, Johnson stressed that although ARW does charge for the items sold at their Thrift Stores, profits from the sales are used to serve the community by housing the homeless and providing food for those in need.