What has been called the Christmas Clothes Closet since it was launched four years ago to help area residents in need at the holiday is accepting donations to not only help at holiday time, but any time, according to Kelly Bozeman, organizer of the grassroots movement that includes family members.
The Richmond resident explained she is accepting donations of most anything - clothing, furniture, household items, toys, etc., - and will accept leftovers from people having yard and garage sales.
Bozeman said a storage place for the items has been made available for the effort that she and her family initiated in 2008 when she and her mother, Sandra Coletti, were contemplating how they had a lot of things in good condition that they no longer needed or used. Bozeman said reports of the sour economy and people out of work fueled the idea to organize a giveaway of items to anyone who needed them. The Hopedale Fire Department offered her the social hall for free. In less than two weeks, Bozeman and family and friends put together a giveaway in 2008 that helped 150 families that first year.
In 2009, 250 families were helped. In 2010, it was 1,013 families helped over a four-day period. In 2011, the number swelled to 1,983.
"Everything is free to all in need. This is like my Christmas to be able to help others," Bozeman had explained.
Now the Christmas Clothes Closet, she said, has paperwork in place to to be a nonprofit organization.
"Everything donated we find a place for it to go," Bozeman said. "We'll just be Christmas all year round."
Bozeman can be contacted by phone at (740) 424-6059, by e-mail at email@example.com or people can check out the Facebook site, doing a search on Christmas Clothes Closet.