Beginning this month, families facing hard times in Gladstone, a community of 12,000 people in Clackamas County, have a new place to go for kids’ clothes and shoes.
Several churches of the Gladstone Ministerial Association have partnered with the Gladstone School District to open a clothes closet to serve children in need from birth to high school. The idea sprung from gatherings between local pastors and school officials, including a strategic gathering hosted by the district superintendent and the School Partnership Network last spring.
Gladstone High School has designated a portable classroom on the North side of its campus for the closet, which is scheduled to open its doors in late February. A team of representatives from Gladstone Christian Church, Gladstone Church of the Nazarine, Gladstone First Baptist Church, Gospel Fellowship Community Church, Portland Youth for Christ, and St. Stephen Lutheran Church has been working with school staff to get the closet stocked and ready for this new community outreach.
This same group of leaders has also been raising funds for startup projects associated with the closet. The Gladstone Education Foundation made the closet a focus project at their annual auction fundraiser this month. The event raised $20,000 to help with start-up costs. We can only echo the words of Pastor Brian Early, one of the leaders of this project, who wrote to say, “That’s amazing! Thank you Lord!”
The closet is open to serve families and receive donations Thursdays from 3 to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to noon. Needs include packages of new socks and underwear, and new or clean, gently used clothes for babies, kids, and teens. Learn more at the school district’s website.