New Chapter of God’s Closet Opens in Monroe

March 12, 2017 | Tracey Gaver

“Thank you for my beautiful clothes!”

“I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found God’s Closet. My kids need new clothes so badly, and I just don’t have the money.”

Sentiments such as these are the very reason the Monroe Church in western Washington opened a chapter of God’s Closet clothing ministry. “When I saw a video on Facebook about God’s Closet, I knew immediately that we needed this ministry,” says Tracey Gaver, director of the program for Monroe. “The need in our community is so great.”

Once the need was known, donations began to come in. Local families found out about the project and began to clean out their closets. Partnerships with local agencies and charities formed, resulting in more donations.

More than 114 people attended the first “Free Shop Day” event. They were greeted by a team of volunteers who offered them hot chocolate and directed them to child care and the three rooms full of new and gently used clothing. Each family was given two shopping bags and allowed to take whatever they needed from the tables. In addition, a partnership with the Pajama Program and a local charity allowed each child to receive a brand-new pair of pajamas, a new book and a new stuffed animal.

“We could not have done it without our incredible team of volunteers,” says Gaver. Members from the community joined church members to sort and organize clothing by size and gender. From newborn through teens, there were clothes for everyone who walked through the door.

And the ministry doesn’t end there. Three families requested Bible studies, and nearly all requested information about children’s programming offered by the church.

God’s hand was seen all day. A moment of panic occurred when not one but three different Russian-speaking families needed assistance. “We were prepared for Spanish-speakers, but Russian?” saysGaver. But God brought a young newlywed (who came with her new mother-in-law to volunteer) who "just happened" to be fluent in Russian. 

The team is already gearing up for the next event on April 10. The donations keep pouring in. God is so faithful, and Monroe Church members are reminded of Acts 20:35: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”