The Giving Closet

The Giving Closet
Posted on 12/06/2016

Poplar Bluff High School students in need of an article of clothing, a personal hygiene product or a classroom supply now have a discrete place to go directly on campus to seek relief. 

The Giving Closet has been established this academic year in the library. The operation is managed by Librarian Marci Priest, who maintains inventory through donations and receives help stocking shelves from student volunteers. 

School board member Alana Robertson, who also serves on the Bright Futures advisory, read about the Little Bit Foundation, a cost-free boutique for poverty-stricken schools in St. Louis. She was able to further gather information from a relative at an educational institution in Florida with a comparable operation.

“It’s the whole premise of Bright Futures and I thought, ‘How wonderful if we can do something similar,’ because we all have kids that need our help,” Robertson said. The mission of Bright Futures is to help meet the basic needs of students through community partnerships with the business sector, human service agencies, faith-based organizations and parent groups.

The high school site council for the nonprofit took its first tour of the Giving Closet on Wednesday, Nov. 25. While discussions began last school year, plans for full implementation were put on hold until a designated space was made available at the new Oak Grove facility. 

“In the past (lacking an element of anonymity) might have prevented us from meeting the needs of a child who may not want to come to school because they would freeze to death with no coat, or they don’t want their stomach growling until lunch because they didn’t eat supper, or they don’t have clean clothes,” R-I Attendance Officer Misty Dodson explained. “For a child to be able to just walk in and say, ‘I need this,’ cuts down on the potential negative feeling they may have in regard to their circumstances.”

Items presently in demand, according to overseers, include gently worn winter gear appropriate for high schoolers, undergarments and feminine products. For more information, contact the high school directly at 573-785-6471, or message the Bright Futures Poplar Bluff page on Facebook

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Cutline: PBHS Librarian Marci Priest displays a tote of granola bars donated by Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

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