Volunteers on a Mission
The Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) Clothing Bank's mission is to provide free clothing to families in the school district demonstrating financial need.
The clothing bank is located inside Salem High School and, these days, the members are busier than ever. The library connected with Julie Jasinski, a volunteer at the P-CCS Clothing Bank, to gain more insight into the work that this organization does and how the community can volunteer or receive help.
Jasinski is always at the clothing bank when it is open. She has worked at the bank for about 26 years, the longest longevity of all the volunteers. For the most part, the volunteers have the same responsibilities except for Karen Palgut, who is the business service representative for the organization. Palgut handles communications, ordering and other business service duties.
There are about eight volunteers total, and, according to Jasinski, the most gratifying aspects of volunteering at the bank include working as a team, making long-lasting friendships and receiving positive feedback from the families they help.
History and How It Works
The P-CCS Clothing Bank was started by Flossie Tonda in 1976. Tonda was a member of the Board of Education and, after observing the people in the community, noticed that there were some disparities. She founded the bank so that all kids could have access to clothing during tough times and feel confident in their attire at school. The clothing bank serves families with demonstrated need determined by P-CCS, the Salvation Army and other churches, who often refer families to the clothing bank.
The bank's main focus is filling orders for the families referred to them. Around 80% of the people that receive help from the clothing bank are connected to P-CCS or have a member of their family enrolled, and when a family is helped, they receive unused socks, underwear, hats and gloves. Each family member also gets approximately one week’s worth of clothing. The clothing bank typically buys these items if they weren’t donated, and the partnerships that the bank maintains helps them acquire these unused items.
Hopes and Plans for the Future
Volunteers at the P-CCS Clothing Bank hope to hold fundraisers to obtain more funds and donations. Since the clothing bank is filling orders, the items they need are specific to each family. Therefore, the volunteers have to make more shopping trips, which requires more donations, in order to fill the orders.
In addition, the volunteers plan to reach out to more individuals and organizations to gain additional input and insight on how best to serve these families in need. They aim to reach out to more organizations in the community such as the Girl Scouts and P-CCS high school sports teams to develop partnerships for hosting clothing drives and gathering more donations.
Donations and How You Can Help
How can you help support the P-CCS Clothing Bank? Jasinski says that the best way to donate is any way you can. She tells us it would be of great help if everyone going back-to-school shopping could buy at least one item to donate to the clothing bank. Just as a week’s worth of clothing for a family in need can add up, so will those donations during back-to-school shopping. If you would like to make monetary donations, you can visit the Plymouth Canton Educational Foundation website to donate.
The clothing bank is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 AM. However, if Salem High School is closed, the clothing bank is as well. The bank opens after Labor Day and can be reached by phone at 734-416-6179 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Calling is preferred by the volunteers, especially for donation drop-offs. You can also follow the P-CCS Community Information Group Facebook page to receive updates and information.
The P-CCS Clothing Bank is a wonderful organization with volunteers who are passionate about what they do, and what they aspire to do, for the Plymouth-Canton community. Next time you are out shopping for clothing, keep them in mind if you are able. Buying just one item makes a difference.