Monday Morning Sorting Crew for the Community Closet

Working together. Satisfaction from completing a task. Knowing that you are being of service to those in need. And, yes, fun! These are a few of the reasons why the current crew of Monday morning volunteers shows up.

Throughout the week generous donors drop off bags of used clothes, new socks and underwear, small toiletries and other donations. On a recent Monday morning, volunteers included Maureen Dunn; Lois Keim; Carolyn Stupin; Martina Tietje; and Rev. Dave Wasserman, retired pastor. They arrive ready to sort through the donations.

Grabbing a large trash bag from the pile, Carolyn removed a handful of women’s tops. “We work together going through the donations,” Carolyn said as she sorts the women’s clothes on a long table. There’s a pile each for women’s pants, tops, sweaters, coats. Another long table holds the piles for the men’s clothes. “Sometimes there are clothes that we take to Salvation Army. Prom dresses or tuxedos aren’t what guests are looking for.”

Lois explained what happens if someone donates children’s clothes. “We don’t have room to keep children’s clothes, so if any are donated, we take them over to Casa Familia.” Lois added, “We do keep clothes that are appropriate for a job interview or for work. I remember one day that a man came in and needed a nice shirt and pants to attend his father-in-law’s funeral. He was grateful that we were able to give him the appropriate clothes.”

Martina worked in the Community Closet organizing the hanging clothes by type, putting the new donations on hangers and folding tees and sweaters. “I like helping others,” Martina said. “I’ve been coming on Monday mornings for about three years.”

Maureen is the newest member of the Monday crew. She’s a retired teacher and has been volunteering at the shelter since March. “Besides liking to see the Community Closet organized,” Maureen said, “volunteering is what I do.”

A couple of donated sacks and boxes were especially welcome this Monday. One box was filled with gallon-size Ziploc bags. Each bag held a pair of men’s socks, toothpaste, deodorant, disposable razor, pack of Kleenex, and other travel-size hygiene items. Another box held similar necessities for women in Ziploc bags. And then there was a sack of beautifully handmade crocheted or knitted scarves in beautiful colors. Perfect to keep one’s head and neck warm.

The whole crew agreed that volunteering is part of who they are. They like working together and making a difference.