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District Staff Joins Together to “Stock the Closet”

DEA Drive Restocks the Community Cares Closet

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Did you know that CCSD59’s Community Cares Closet (CCC) helps district families in need of basic necessities? For no charge, qualifying families can shop the store, housed at the Ridge Family Center for Learning, for items they need.

Since there can be a wide fluctuation of stocked items, especially those that can’t be donated gently used, certain items can be more difficult to come by, so the D59 Education Association (DEA) stepped in to lend a hand.

CCSD59’s DEA learned that the CCC was in dire need of children’s undergarments, socks, and diapers, so they held a drive to “stock the closet.”

“Diapers are a constant need that some organizations are unable to offer to our families,” said Mary Jo Long, region council member for the Illinois Education Association and teacher at Grove Junior High. “Underwear and socks are also a basic necessity that everyone is always in need of which organizations don’t always have the privilege of offering. For these reasons, we determined that our CCC would benefit from having these items be continuously replenished.”

Nelly Perez, a community outreach specialist, agreed that sometimes basic necessities are often the items that get overlooked. “When we donate clothing, we are always thinking of shirts, pants, outerwear, and those type of items, but there are essential items we all use daily that we would never think to donate,” she said. “That is why the DEA’s drive was so important. Families that come to the CCC are in real need of these clothing items.”

The items were collected from January 29 through February 9, with the goal of collecting 1,000 total items from DEA members. All items were collected from each location and delivered to Ridge the week of February 12.

The CCC breaks up packages into individual items for maximum benefit to those who need them, and far more than the original goal of 1,000 items were collected.

“We talk about how we can contribute to our communities, and we all care about them,” said Long. “I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to come together and support this worthwhile entity of our district. This was an easy ask of staff members.”

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