The Red Deer Community Clothing Service, formerly known as the Red Deer Clothing Bank, will be permanently closing their doors tomorrow.
“Originally we were going to close on June 26th, but we are very picked over in terms of clothing, so we have decided to close our doors sooner,” said Ted Hayden, president of the Red Deer Community Clothing Service. “Whatever have left will be packed up and be taken somewhere to be used.
“We didn’t want to see this happen but the writing has been on the wall for a while.”
For the past 47 years, the non-profit organization, which is located at 5005 Ross St., has been funded through the United Way, but they were informed last year that as of Dec. 31, 2013 that funding would stop.
As well, contributing to the agency’s decision to close was the fact that the building the Red Deer Community Clothing Service is housed in has been sold and the new owner wanted the organization to downsize. In addition, four instrumental people who played a role in keeping the agency running informed Hayden that they wouldn’t be coming back after July, in which the agency closes for the month each year, he said.
“It was all of those things combined that led to our decision.”
Last year, Hayden said the organization put away some funding which allowed them to cover their rent until this past March, but after that, if more funding wasn’t obtained, they will have to close their doors after providing for the community for 51 years.
“We had a little bit more money come in and one of the service clubs in Red Deer stepped forward and offered to help. But it wasn’t sustainable funding and that is really what we need,” he said. “We needed funding to cover our rent of $2,858 per month, our small Thrift Shop pays the insurance, telephone and cleaning.
“We provide free clothing, basic bedding and kitchen needs to anyone in need in the Red Deer area. Our client base is approximately 1,100 per month and our volunteers provide this service Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This organization is run solely by volunteers that are passionate about continuing to serve the community.”
He added he is grateful to those in the community that tried to help save the agency.
“I want to thank everyone for their support over the years and their generous donations of clothes, bedding and other household items. I would also like to give a very huge thank you to all of the volunteers for the last 51 years,” he said. “They have been the backbone of this operation. Also, I wish to thank all of the generous people who donated items and money to our operation and to the United Way for providing funds for 47 years. Again, a big thank you to everyone.”