After nearly 15 years of service, Saint Joseph’s House continues to provide clothes to those in need in the Marysville area.
The local clothing bank provides support to families and individuals in the community.
“Those with low-income have the right to come and shop here,” said Lenora Bruce, director of operations of the organization.
The clothing bank helps a variety of people including senior citizens, “single families living paycheck-to-paycheck,” and homeless individuals.
“Our biggest focus is on the single families,” said Bruce.
Single mothers and fathers can have a lot of challenges raising their children in these times.
“By the time they pay rent and the groceries there’s nothing left,” said Bruce. “I know that feeling, I was a single mother raising my kids once."
Bruce said during that time she used an organization in Puyallap called Francis House that is very similar to Saint Joseph’s House.
The Marysville program mirrored Francis House and the volunteers in Puyallap have provided support and guidance for the local clothing bank throughout the years, said Bruce.
There is a need for the service in the area, said Bruce.
“We have a lot of lower-income people in this area,” she said. “We have had some of our customers who have responded about how much we have helped them.”
In October the clothing bank received about 55 patrons and gave out more than 600 items, said Bruce.
“We have been very successful I think,” at providing help to the community, she said.
The organization started with just four local women but has evolved to become a team of 30 regular volunteers who help keep the clothing bank going.
Individuals who need to use the clothing bank can stop by Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
They are also open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
However, the organization does not open on the fifth Tuesday, Thursday and/or Saturday of a month.
Applicants need a picture ID. For each person in the family you can shop for up to 20 items, to a max of 60 items.
“So sometimes that is two garbage bags full of items for people,” said Bruce.
“We serve the whole family and often have household items,” such as dishes, pans and towels, among other items.
“Whatever is donated to us is given out freely,” said Bruce.
The organization used to allow 20 items per month but tightened the guidelines after they found some patrons were re-selling items at garage sales.
“After the first year, 20 items a month is something you don’t really need,” said Bruce.
For the first year patrons receive 20 items a month, for the second year 20 items every two months, for the third year 20 items every three months and after that 20 items four times a year.
Those who want to donate can drop items off during the clothing bank’s business hours, or often Monday and Wednesday mornings when volunteers are preparing for the next day, said Bruce.
Those who would like to volunteer can find more information on the organization’s website at saintjosephshouse.org.