Meridian Continues to Help Community With God’s Closet
When Meridian (Idaho) Church members held their first God’s Closet in September 2017, the community response was so overwhelmingly positive, program organizers knew they had hit a need. Building on that initial platform, they have now held their fifth God’s Closet — and the number of people who come to find clothes for their children is growing.
God’s Closet is a local church community services initiative started by lay members in 2009 and supported by North American Division (NAD) Adventist Community Services (ACS). It could be described as a “shopping” event held periodically for those in need of children’s clothing, shoes and bedding. Church members as well as people and organizations in the community donate children’s clothes, which volunteers gather and sort according to size and gender.
On event days, families in the community pay $1 per family to shop for children’s clothes. The reason for the small fee, Logan explains, is that people feel like they are contributing something. It also helps defray expenses since the program is entirely donation-based. However, no one is turned away if they are unable to pay the $1 entry fee.
“Every time we open our doors for God’s Closet we are surprised at the expressed need for basics like clothing and safety,” says Beverly Logan, who has headed the program since the beginning. “Anything we can do to fulfill those needs — even in a small way — is a real blessing.”
Families in the community learn about the God’s Closet events via Facebook. More than 100 families from 12 cities and towns — Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Weiser, Emmett, Kuna, Middleton, Caldwell, Eagle, Wilder, Garden City and Melba — showed up for the most recent shopping day, held in the Meridian Church fellowship hall on Feb. 15, 2019.
“This is great!” one shopper said. “My daughter thought she was finished having children and gave all her children’s clothing away. Then — surprise! — she’s pregnant again. Being able to get baby clothes for her here is a real blessing.”
“Thank you so much for doing this,” another shopper told a volunteer worker. “This is wonderful.”
Meridian Church members Carolyn Curtis and Pat Britzius, together with Logan, comprise the core organizers, but numerous other members also help prepare for and run the God’s Closet on event days.
“The support from our church for this program is very encouraging,” Logan says.
Together with providing clothes, shoppers’ spiritual needs are also addressed. At the most recent event, 12 people expressed interest in Bible studies, 15 asked for prayer and 32 families said they would be interested in attending upcoming children’s programs.