Sunday, January 16, 2011
Church Women Quietly At Work
Last week I came across one of the quietest good deeds being perpetrated around Rochester. The thing’s been going on for the past three years, all without publicity.
It was in 1964 that the Inter-Church Women opened what they call the Clothes Closet. Very simply, it’s a place where good used clothing is brought for distribution to families in need.
The Inter-Church women, as you may already know, is composed of interested area churchwomen who want to create a bond of fellowship among women of all local churches. The Clothes Closet idea started with collecting used clothing just for children. Now they can outfit the entire family.
Clothing was collected at the home of Mrs. Robert Jacobson, a member of First Congregational Church. But the collection soon was taking up more space than just a closet full. Coming to the rescue was the Detroit Edison Co. which had some unused space on the second floor of its downtown office. There, one finds a half dozen long racks of clothing and many boxes of unpacked items ready for use.
The “Closet” is an unusual clothing store because it charges nothing and is only open when it is known that a “customer” is coming in. Names of needy families are supplied through the churches and classroom teachers in our schools. Arrangements are made for a time for the person or families to come in and the doors are opened.
IN THE PAST TWO years, the chairman, Mrs. Herman Schroll, estimates 50 families have been outfitted. A few had lost everything in fires. The Inter-Church Women also shipped out 275 pounds of clothing to the Christian World Clothing In-Gathering, sent some to special education classes at Lake Orion, some to Pontiac and even to Lapeer. As a side-line, in meeting the underprivileged, the women have also found themselves assisting Family Service programs through counseling and locating housing.
You men who seem to be missing some clothes that were in your closet the last time you looked a year ago, could possibly find them on the rack of the Clothes Closet. There was a sport shirt that looked strangely familiar to me.
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SPEAKING OF good deeds, “Operation Thank-You” will be something entirely new for our community. In fact, it will be novel for any town. You recall last week it was announced that there will be a banquet called “Operation Thank-You” on May 10 to honor a pair of young men who helped police break an assault case that resulted in the loss of an eye by John Kinzie, Jr. The banquet profits will be turned over to John to buy an artificial eye and further his education.
Having sat in on the planning of this event, I can safely say that the moving force behind the undertaking is Rochester Police Officer Lloyd Johnson. Police are delighted to have witnesses step forward, or even someone with a small tidbit of information. Honoring two young men who helped break this particular case will hopefully be an incentive to other citizens. Lloyd reports that several people have already indicated they will buy tickets, but will not be able to make the dinner.
Also behind Operation Thank-You are the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Clubs, Jaycees, Elks, Junior Woman’s Club and the Student Council.