The Blessing Closet is one of the newest Social Ministry Missions at Zion. This ministry collects, sorts, and distributes new and slightly used clothes, free of charge, to kids and their parents who are in need of help. Everyone is welcome … no questions, requirements or limits.
To start this Mission, Zion provided one-half of the closet in Trinity Hall to store clothing donations from the congregation. The first distribution was held in August of 2015, and the program has since grown well beyond expectations as the word has spread throughout the community and the surrounding areas. Donations of over 10,000 items of clothing exceeded the available storage space, and allowed many more families to be served.
The November distribution at Zion involved:
- 254 families from 21 different area communities came to ‘shop’ for free clothes for their kids and themselves
- 607 children received 6018 free clothing items, including 300 warm winter coats and over 65 pairs of snow pants
- 60 Zion volunteers helped with the sorting, set up, and distribution to make this happen smoothly (some pictured)
Remaining coats after the distribution were given to Redeemer Church in North Minneapolis
Examples of people who were helped included:
An immigrant family from Ukraine who just moved into the area with an extended family and were able to get a huge amount of clothes and had big hugs and smiles as they thanked us (we think) in a language we did not even understand!
An older gentleman came in with his grandchildren and got clothes for them and found a snowmobile suit for himself and thanks us saying
Now I can go ice fishing this winter to help with feed the family
Other non-profits brought or sent clients for clothes (WIC, Crisis Nursery, Buffalo School Early Childhood Services, Wright County Human Services, Head Start)
There are many ways to get involved in being the hands and feet of Jesus through this ministry and help clothe the children:
- Continued donations of gently used clothing (donations are received every Wednesday from noon-7:30pm)
- Volunteers to help with sorting, setup, and distribution
- The Blessing Closet will be pursuing additional storage capacity at Zion