Storage Facilities Being Transformed into Charitable Outlets

Posted on Oct 25 2010 - 7:44pm by John Stevens

The desire to donate to those less fortunate happens in different ways. Some people give to local food banks; others write checks to philanthropic organizations. But one woman in Merced, California, decided to use a storage facility to collect clothes and distribute them to the needy.

Neatly folded into bins and placed on shelves built into the 10 x 20 sq. ft. storage unit, are 5,000 lbs. of donated clothes of all shapes and sizes. Skirts, ties, pants, toddler clothes, and jackets are just a sampling of what is offered. And the clothes are absolutely free to whoever wants them, although most go to the needy. The woman who organizes this philanthropic endeavor did not want to be identified. She dubbed her operation “Clothing Closet.”

Other clothing banks in town require an I.D. or address, but the Clothing Closet requires neither and does not discriminate against anyone. Hundreds of people have used the facility since it opened two months ago. Donations are abundant with 800 to 1,000 lbs. of clothes donated last week. Sometimes odd donations come in, like Civil War clothing.

Word has spread quickly about the bustling storage facility. One weekend about 50 people picked over the clothes. News of the facility has spread by word of mouth and Craigslist. And people have traveled as far away as Oakland, Fresno, and Madera to rummage through the clothes.

Lately, storage facilities have become venues for providing goods for those in need. In Burlington, Pennsylvania, students and administrators at the Three Burlington Township School District will use a storage facility to collect nonperishable goods.  Student and faculty bands plan to perform in a concert on Oct. 29. Tickets are $5 and funds raised from the concert go toward the food pantry inside the storage facility. The unit is at the Mr. Biggs storage facility on Cadillac Road.

Roads to Reading, located in Boston, Mass., asks for donations of books and keeps them in storage facility units. The organization donates about 100,000 books each year to schools in need. Because they are always looking for a safe, dry, and accessible place to store the books, they ask for volunteers to help pay for the cost of the storage units. The cost of storage is one of the group’s biggest expenses. The organization looks for storage facilities that are 15’ x 15’ and equipped with a loading dock. Every year the group makes a plea for more donations of storage facilities to keep up with the book supplies.

Sources used:

Butt, Ameera. “Clothing Closet Dresses the Needy No Matter What.” The Merced Sun-Star. Oct. 25, 2010.

Quann, Peg. “School District Leaders Rock For a Good Cause.” The Burlington County Times. Oct. 25, 2010. 

“Support the Roads to Reading.”  Roads to Reading. 2010.