People who come to our closet meet friendly and loving faces. They are able to receive support with dignity. Kids are able to shop for clothes that they love, just like their friends at school. Parents receive a compassionate ear, sincere encouragement, and prayer. The closet is stocked with clothes that are given, sorted, and displayed with care. It is incredible to compare the Neighborhood Closet today with its launch a year ago.
The Neighborhood Closet was launched around the same time that I started working in our office, which means I’ve had the joy of watching the team plan their system, find volunteers, gather donations from our congregation, serve families, smooth out their processes, make connections with families, and become a staple of the Coeur d’Alene community.
In the office, I get a front seat view of the difference that is being made in people’s lives. From my desk, I answer the phone calls of families seeking an appointment. I also get to hear the gratitude and praise from ministries such as St.Vinny’s, Love INC, and McKinney-Vento as they refer people to 1st Pres. From the children’s check-in on Sundays, I’ve been able to see a couple of our families stop by for a church service. This has all been a joy to watch!
But it wasn’t until I got to volunteer in an appointment myself that the impact of the ministry was clear. I got to see a little girl excitedly pick out matching lunchboxes for her and her best friend. I watched as Suzy and Katherine prayed with the mother, comforting her when she cried about her daughter growing up. I was able to see human connection and godly love. It seemed like a small and cheerful part of my workday at the time, but as I continued through my day to day I realized that the experience had truly impacted me.
At a recent lunch with the Closet team I was able to hear similar stories of impactful moments from each and every volunteer. In each story was a connection and love that was inspiring.
This Sunday, our middle and high schoolers took a tour of our Neighborhood Closet. They helped provide feedback to our “Closeteers” in order to make sure the Neighborhood Closet is stocked with clothes that kids will be excited to wear. This joint effort to better serve our community is just the latest example of the wonderful way that the Neighborhood Closet inspires connection and service. Every time there is a drive for the closet I am blown away by the way the whole church is united in its heart to love and serve.
In His Name, Naomi
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.