Clothes Closet Update for September 2018

Many hands make for light work! A huge thank you to these energetic helpers for conquering the stairs and moving the entire inventory of the Clothes Closet down stairs in less than an hour.

Many hands make for light work! A huge thank you to these energetic helpers for conquering the stairs and moving the entire inventory of the Clothes Closet down stairs in less than an hour.

First Teen Clothes Closet has a new home!

Thank you to the many volunteers who have helped in the relocation of the First Teen Clothes Closet to its new home, sharing a building with the Children’s Clothes Closet at Trinity Lutheran Church in La Crosse. We are excited about the opportunity to serve more teens in a location that is more accessible to the area of our community with the greatest concentration of need.

More than two dozen sets of energetic hands and feet helped in the transfer of thousands of items of clothing in July and August, and on Aug. 20, the Closet opened for the first open-shopping night in its new location.

Special thanks to Mike Peper for the many hours of work setting up shelving, painting and preparing the physical space, and to Kelly Konrardy for helping us visualize how to best use the space available.

In its new location, the First Teen Clothes Closet will be open 4-6 p.m. each Monday, corresponding with the hours of the Children’s Clothes Closet located in the lower level of Trinity Lutheran at 1010 Sill St. The church also serves a community meal to nearly 150 people each Monday night.

We will still accept donations in the entry at First Lutheran (for both the Teen Closet and the Children’s Closet). The clothes will still be sorted and approved by our teens in the house. Our volunteers will continue to host private appointments, in addition to the open-shopping nights. While the physical location of the closet has changed, the heart of it remains very much a mission of First Lutheran Church, and we thank you for your support in clothing donations, financial donations, volunteer time and prayers. 

Watch for opportunities to learn more about our new adventure, and follow the Closet’s Facebook page to see a video tour when all the finishing touches are complete. We are also seeking volunteers to host the Monday shopping nights; please talk with a committee member or contact the church office if you are interested.

Hundreds of kids with happy feet: 265 pairs of shoes!

What can happen when two churches decide that a community’s kids should have new shoes to wear for back-to-school? For the second year in a row, First Lutheran has been a part of making that happen, pitching in on an event created by Trinity Lutheran Church in La Crosse, which has kicked off the school year for several years by hosting a block party complete with music, games, food… and shoes. It is a continuation of the outreach the church does through its Children’s Clothes Closet and Monday evening community meals.

This year, thanks to the continuing generosity of our congregation and a grant from the Franke Foundation, the First Teen Clothes Closet again provided 140 pairs of adult sized shoes to supplement the 400 pairs of kids’ shoes purchased by Trinity’s program. More than half of those shoes found feet to wear them in a 2.5-hour period on students from preschool through high school (and even teen students at Western Technical College). In addition to shoes, our congregation provided volunteers who registered families, helped them find the shoes they needed, led games for kids, painted faces and more. 

Thank you to Kisha Peyer, who helped purchase and keep track of the 140 pairs of adults shoes we contributed, and to all who took time to enjoy the festivities and be the hands and feet of Christ for the new neighbors of our First Teen Clothes Closet, which has relocated to Trinity to provide one-stop shopping alongside the Children’s Clothes Closet.

First Teen Clothes Closet team,

Lori Lunney
Shari Hegland
Bridget Crave
Patty Shepard