In today’s economy, any clothing ministry is a great idea and source of help for potentially thousands of people without work or who are simply struggling to make ends meet. Buying kids clothing, especially, can be expensive as kids grow and need new sizes within months at times. A clothing ministry can fill the gap and provide for the needs of families in your community or church.
Place Ad in Bulletin
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Place an ad in your church bulletin and get your church family involved in helping to fund your clothing ministry as well as to donate clean used and new items. Suggest clothing for both children and adults and be specific to items you might particularly need such as coats, hats, gloves during the winter season and spring and summer tops, shorts and swimming suits as well as shoes and under garments.
Shop for Bargains
Once you have collected some funds for your clothing ministry, take some of those funds and purchase needed clothing items that you weren’t able to collect. You want to have a good supply of tops and pants in all sizes, winter coats and light jackets as well as socks, underwear and T-shirts. Shop for bargains at garage and estate sales, thrift stores and discount stores that are having a sale. Wash all used items before handing them out.
Just as you need to seek donations of clothing items and funds to help your clothing ministry get started, you'll also need reliable volunteers to help you operate it. You volunteers might include retired ladies in the church as well as retired men who are strong enough to lift and move boxes. It might also be good to have a friendly person on staff who is good with people and someone who can keep track of numbers.
Choose Location and Publicize
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Many people operate clothing ministries from their churches. Just like a soup kitchen or other help center, your clothing ministry can be open to the public during certain hours of the week or by appointment. Alert community centers and the media that you are in operation, pass out fliers or brochures to the community and start a small free blog or website about your services. Word of mouth will often be your best system of referral.
Patricia Williams is a freelance writer who has been published in numerous magazines including "Missouri Impact," "Travelhost," "Careers & Colleges," "Career Focus," "Small Business Journal" and many online sites such as Trazzler, AssociatedContent, Bright Hub, LoveToKnow, and Family.com. Williams has Bachelor of Arts degrees in communications and English from the University of Missouri - Kansas City.