June 20, 2023 at 7:40 a.m.

Moravian Clothes Closet Celebrates a Year of Blessings

By JENN WILLHITE | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

As Linda Foote and her team of volunteers prepare for June’s Moravian Clothes Closet giveaway this weekend, there is much to celebrate.

The monthly event, which is held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. the last Saturday of each month at the Moravian Church, located at 202 Main Street in Hope, is celebrating one year and its momentum continues to grow. The charitable event is not only regularly helping more and more Hope residents, but it has also taken off to become a well-known offering that is bringing area residents together.  

Since Foote launched the closet – a free clothing giveaway for children and adults – and its success is something Foote is certainly grateful for but wasn’t quite expecting.

“It’s kind of exciting we’ve done this for a year now and it’s grown quite a bit,” she says.  
However, this isn’t the first effort of its kind for Foote.            

The Aurora, Ill., native moved to Hope nearly a decade ago bringing with her a history of charitable work and spearheading charitable opportunities, like the clothes closet, in previous communities where she’s lived.

The 67-year-old started a similar event when she lived in St. Charles, Illinois, and another one in the community of Earlville, as well as while she was working for the Trinity Broadcasting Network in the Greenwood area. So, when the mother of five moved to Hope it was only natural she launch a similar effort in the Hope community.

Organizers prepare donations for the next closet giveaway at the Moravian Church. Photo credit: Submitted.

During a clothing giveaway in Greenwood, Ind., one young girl’s excitement served as a gentle reminder of why Foote and others do what they do, she says.

“To this day I remember this little girl who was so excited to find little girl clothes,” Foote recalls. “She said, ‘Oh, I’ve had to wear my brother’s hand me downs for so long, I have girl clothes now!’ At that moment, I looked to one of the other people there and said, ‘That is why we do it.’ It makes you feel good because you are able to bless others.”

Foote says it is a way of trying to show others that God blesses people in a “whole lot of different ways” by meeting their needs.  

During the pandemic, Foote approached the leadership at the Moravian Church seeking advice about starting a clothing closet in the Hope community. After discussing it with the church’s board of trustees everything fell into place.

Now, one year later a clothing giveaway that attracted 15 families the first month it was offered now regularly serves more than 50 families each month. During May’s closet, 67 families received assistance, Foote says.

As the closet continues to grow both in its donations and attendance, Foote is reminded of the importance of offering something like this for those who’ve found themselves in need of assistance.

“The economy the way it is now, it’s another way that God has reached down and blessed everyone with clothes that are ridiculously expensive,” Foote says. “The pantry is a way that God is blessing everybody.”

Since last month’s pantry, Foote is looking to expand. Each Sunday she is visiting area churches to spread the word about the closet and garner additional volunteers to hopefully offer assistance to even more members of the community.

“It feels good that it’s succeeding, and I am happy about that,” Foote says. “It is one of those things where everyone has a purpose in life, and I think I am achieving one of the things God has asked me to do.”

She stresses the closet’s efforts aren’t confined to just Hope.

“I want to make it known you don’t have to live in Hope to come to the closet,” she says. “You can live anywhere. If you have a need for clothes, you are welcome to come get them.”

Those who would like to offer their time to volunteer or who may have donations to offer are encouraged to reach out to Linda Foote at 812-560-5943.