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Out & About: Newport Families Clothing Closet Aids Community Members

  • Clothing available for families at Newport Families Clothing Closet, which is housed at Towle Elementary School. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photograph

  • Clothing available for families at Newport Families Clothing Closet, which is housed at Towle Elementary School. (Courtesy photograph) —Courtesy photograph

  • Clothing available for families at Newport Families Clothing Closet, which is housed at Towle Elementary School. (Courtesy photograph) —Courtesy photograph

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 11/5/2018 12:41:19 PM
Modified: 11/5/2018 12:41:23 PM

Newport — The Newport Families Clothing Closet, which opened in September, is off to a very strong start with communitywide support.

“The response has been amazing in terms of people donating items, people picking up items and people donating their time to help organize the clothing,” said SAU 43 Family and Community Coordinator Stacey Hammerlind.

The clothing closet operates in a classroom at the Towle Elementary School where the SAU 43 administrative offices are located on Main Street.

“It has been amazing,” Hammerlind said. “We have served 20 families so far in the first month.”

Items, considered “gently worn,” are available for infants to adults. Winter hats, gloves and boots also are available. The closet is open during SAU business hours, normally 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

According to Hammerlind, they have distributed, for free, 204 items of clothing and the recipients include 59 children. Some families who have benefited from the closet have also brought in clothing that their children have outgrown.

Hammerlind said the idea came from the Sugar River Valley Technical Center’s Bonnie Ackerman, who was partly inspired by Baby Steps in Claremont, which provides a similar service with clothing in addition to daily necessities such as toilet paper, shampoo and more.

“We really saw a need for it here,” Hammerlind said.

The clothing closet has received generous support from the Newport Salvation Army, Epiphany 4-H Explorers, South Church and the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Hammerlind said the technical center is also working on developing a Dress for Success Program to provide clothing for job interviews and new employment. Last year, the technical center had a Cinderella’s Workshop, which gave out free prom dresses, suits and other accessories for students so they could attend the prom at an affordable price.

Anyone who would like to donate clothing or is looking for clothing, can contact Hammerlind at 802-478-0844 or at shammerlind@sau43.org to schedule a time to come by either for pick up or drop off.




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