It is long overdue. And it is getting cold outside. Both of these are good motivators… The best motive comes from a quick glance at the people waiting at the door for lunch. It was below freezing last night, and still chilly this morning, but the elderly man in line for lunch only had on a long sleeve polo shirt and old tattered blue jeans. No jacket. No hat. No muffler.

So, what does the clothing program and Facebook have in common?

A few weeks ago we started a project. After looking at the clothing program and seeing how we were handing out the donated clothing, we took stalk and made some changes.

Along with these changes we wanted to include our friends on Facebook. So the experiment was launched… well, is being launched. Can posting a need on Facebook, such as clothing for the urban poor, translate to an individual actually going to their closet and pulling out some clothing and donating?

Traditionally when a client would come for clothing they would find piles of donations along a long table that went the length of the room. Should you arrive early the piles are neat and organized, but that doesn’t last long as people begin to look for sizes and items they need. After a hour or so there isn’t much organization left.

This isn’t the message of dignity we want to give to our clients.

Temporarily suspending the normal clothing program days we began demolition. Removing the long table in the center of the room we made way for round racks for hanging clothing by items and size. Adding shelves for shoes, sweaters and household items and a desk in the corner and the room begins to look like a neat clothing store.

In addition, we are able to put clothing aside for Attire 4 Hire, a program started to meet the growing need for interview and office appropriate clothing, as our clients obtain job interviews and work. The clothing program is scheduled to reopen on the 22nd of November.

Until then we are asking our online community to look outside, feel the chill in the air, and then get online and ask your friends and family to take their lightly used clothing to the Center, or another center in their town.

Let’s see what happens!

The Franciscan Center is open and available for donations Monday through Thursdays 10 am to 1pm. However, if you have a group with a larger donation, we can arrange a pick up!!