By Megan Kelley
Oxford Leader Special Writer
Love INC of Northern Oakland County is partnering with Oxford Free Methodist Church to bring a Clothes Closet to help area families in need.
The Clothes Closet was previously located at St. Mary’s in the Hills Episcopal Church in Orion Township.
Through their GAP ministry, Love INC (Love In the Name of Christ) provides resources and services to people in order to meet ongoing needs that are not currently being met by other agencies or organizations.
“When people call in, we’re not interested in giving them a hand out, we want to give them a hand up. So, when they call in and they say ‘I don’t have enough money for this or for that,’ rather than giving them money for that, we say, ‘Well let’s see where we can find some money in your budget,’” said Patricia Duke, executive director of Love INC.
“‘In the meanwhile, if you need to clothe your family, we have this Clothes Closet ministry where you can shop for members of your family so you won’t have to spend that money there, you can use it elsewhere to fill in spots of your budget where you might be in need,’” Duke added.
To fill up the Clothes Closet, Love INC. is seeking donations throughout the month of July. While the donations can be for any season, currently, they are hoping to primarily focus on back-to-school clothing.
“It’s a ministry to help people get out of a tight spot but also give them the dignity to figure out how to do it on their own to give them that hand up until they can get out of their tight spot,” Duke said.
The Clothes Closet is closed to the public and only for Love INC clients. This allows families to browse the clothing in private at the church without interference.
“It’s nice that it’s by appointment for the Love INC clients. They can come by themselves and they get the whole place to themselves so they can feel more comfortable to browse around and get what they need,” said GayAnn Reynolds, Clothes Closet coordinator at Oxford Free Methodist Church.
Oxford Free Methodist Church is collecting donations of gently used infant to teen, men’s and women’s clothing starting on July 13, each Wednesday and Saturday through July, ending on July 30.
The Clothes Closet grand opening is expected to take place on Aug. 3.
Oxford Free Methodist Church is located at 790 S. Lapeer Rd. in Oxford Township – the Clothes Closet is located in the building behind the church.
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, contact Love INC at 248-693-4357 or visit their website at www.loveincofnoc.org.