Wilmot Family Resource Centre’s longstanding Clothing Cupboard has been more active through the pandemic as people who may not have needed such help in the past find themselves in unprecedented times.
The organization’s executive director, Trisha Robinson, notes the established service has always been open to everyone regardless of need, the better to avoid any stigma being attached to browsing the Clothing Cupboard.
Established in the 1990s, the cupboard was seen as natural extension of the resource centre’s services, she said.
“I think it was just a natural fit… it may have evolved after Christmas, because people would donate clothes for Christmas and some of them, they could have been used, and we would have saved them to handout afterwards. So, it’s been going for a long time,” said Robinson. “The clothing is available for everybody and it’s environmentally sound. It reduces waste, you can save your money on things and use it for other things, maybe for paying bills or saving for your children’s education. And you’ll reduce the stigma too letting people know that you’ve used the clothing room.”
Clothing of all types is available year-round to anyone in the community. Robinson notes that since the location does not have much storage space on site, most of the clothing is rotated on a seasonal basis to represent what’s most likely to be in demand. Once the season ends, the clothing that does not get used is donated to a thrift store in New Hamburg.
“We have a really good partnership [with the thrift store]. If we’re needing something and we don’t have it, sometimes we could reach out and they’ll donate what we need. So, it’s a really good, nice partnership.”
Because of COVID-19, walking into the Clothing Cupboard to shop for what you need is not currently on the table. To keep things going, however, the centre is now offering a “personal shopper” experience that includes curbside pickup or delivery.
Those who wish to get items can call the centre at 519-662-2731 with clothing sizes and items needed to start the shopping experience, which has been revamped to reflect the pandemic situation.
“Were doing outside clothing events, so people could come out safely and can pick. It’s hard to see something online and order that way, people like to see things and touch things and try things on COVID just made that a little bit more difficult. We’re encouraging people to let us know what they need, if they need boots or a certain size, and then we’ll look for it. And if we don’t have it, then we’ll, we’ll try to find it somewhere else for them,” said Robinson.
Donations of items for the cupboard are also accepted and people are welcome to reach out and let the Wilmot Family Resource Centre’s know the items they wish to donate.
For more information call the centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org.