We are so fortunate to work with so many organizations that are making a difference right here in our very own city. One in particular that comes to mind is Catie’s Closet. For those of you who haven’t heard of them, they began their mission in 2012 and are a wonderful resource for the children of Lowell as they collect clothing and toiletries for children living below the poverty line.
How it works is that the clothing and toiletries are donated to Catie’s Closet, and distributed to schools throughout the city. Those schools then convert an unused room into a “Catie’s Closet”, and discreetly give access to students in need. The students are allowed to take a change of clothes and toiletries to wash up, or an entire week’s worth of clothes. The “Closet” is then restocked with climate and age-appropriate clothes on a regular basis.
Did you know that children are the largest age group living in poverty in the United States? Catie’s Closet makes a difference in their lives by removing the visible burden of poverty and providing these closets and basic necessities in schools, which is also improving attendance. By allowing students to choose the clothes they’re going to wear, and giving them the basic necessities that they require, students have an increase in their self-esteem which motivates them and encourages them to focus on their education. When they don’t have to worry about fitting in, they can concentrate on their school work.
Catie’s Closet began as a family-sponsored project, and has quickly grown into a social enterprise. It began as a tribute to Catie Bisson, a Lowell High School graduate who sadly passed away at the age of 20 due to a connective tissue disorder. Catie dreamt of being a writer and an author, and believed that education should not be a privilege. Her family decided that they wanted to honor her memory by helping kids succeed in school, and they have done just that. The first Catie’s Closet was opened in a single school, and now, there are now 25 schools equipped with a Catie’s Closet which serves over 12,500 students. It’s amazing the difference that one person can make, is
Want to know how much of an impact they’re making? Recently, a survey was done at Lowell High School and the results showed that 30% of students were wearing a piece of clothing from the closet or had used the closet to freshen up that day. If you want to help them make an impact, they accept donations on the first and third Saturday of the month from 9 AM – 12noon at their donation center which is located at 19 School Street in Dracut. Currently, they urgently need toiletries, youth boy’s clothing (sizes 2-16), and undergarments. For more information on their needs and the criteria for donations, click here.
The holiday season is a time of year when children are most in need, especially with the cold weather coming. To get in the holiday spirit, come down to our Free Photos with Santa event on Saturday, December 5th. We’ll be taking donations of toiletries, sweatpants, and sweatshirts for Catie’s Closet, we hope to see you there!