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Clothes on Wheels: Love INC program brings garments to those in need

Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
Caption
(Monica Maschak - mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Susan Ousen and Kelsie Haptonstall look through clothes at the Love INC Mobile Closet behind Feed'em Soup in DeKalb on Wednesday. Depending on the weather, the mobile closet is stationed there every Wednesday evening to provide clothing for those in need.

Donated clothes are going mobile this year in the DeKalb and Sycamore area. 

Since late May, Love In the Name of Christ, or Love INC, has given away about 1,200 pieces of clothing in an effort to bring clothes to the people who need them most. Leading their effort is Erica Scott, coordinator of one of their newest services, the mobile clothing closet. 

“You’ve heard of Meals on Wheels? We’ll be clothes on wheels,” she said. 

Erica Scott, along with her husband, executive director Nathan Scott, are part of an organization that partners with 32 local churches and helps connect people with the charitable resources those churches provide. The mobile clothing closet is one of dozens of services they provide through gap ministries that “fill in the gap” with community needs. 

Besides helping people receive clothes, the organization helps people receive food, transportation, financial assistance, appliances, furniture, games and other needs. 

Nathan Scott said the organization – which began in the DeKalb area in 2009 – doesn’t just connect people with resources other churches provide. They also try to protect those resources through a verification process at their main location in DeKalb. 

“The verification is the most important part because we do find a handful of people that like to misuse,” he said. 

When a person fills out a request for a need through Love INC, their clearinghouse will verify information they provide about their expenses, employment or agencies they work with. The verification process also helps Love INC determine the best resources they could use. 

The mobile clothing closet works differently. The organization has set up two sites at Feed’em Soup in DeKalb and the North Avenue Baptist Church in Sycamore. People who stop by are able to pick clothes they need. Erica Scott said a single person can select anywhere from five to 15 articles of clothing. 

Blue jeans, T-shirts, coats, suits, dresses, baby clothes, blankets and linen are some of the many items the closet provides. The mobile clothing closet doesn’t pack any clothes that the handful of volunteers who work at the sites would refuse to wear. People appreciate the good quality of the clothes stored there, Erica Scott said. 

“They just light up when they not only see something nice but even something that has a price tag,” she said. “Nobody has ever worn it.” 

Nathan Scott said he hopes as the mobile clothing closet reaches out to other area Love INC serves, it will expose the organization to more people who are in need. The trailer park areas in Sycamore are one of the locations the organization hopes to bring their clothing closet to in the future, Erica Scott said. 

They also hope to meet the specific clothing needs at each site. One site might need more clothes for children and another for more elderly people, she said. 

“We’re looking forward to this being a wonderful ministry so the people can go on to have a wonderful relationship with Christ,” she said.

———

Mobile Clothing Closet locations

Feed'em Soup Address: 122 S. First St., DeKalb Time: 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. Wednesdays

North Avenue Baptist Church Address: 301 North Ave., Sycamore Time: 3 to 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

Information: Call 815-217-0082 or visit www.loveincdeksyc.org

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