Volunteer Day 1: Catie’s Closet
On June 16, eight women (most of them pictured on the right) made the trip to Dracut, MA to spend the morning volunteering with former TPC grantee Catie’s Closet (CC). CC’s mission is to improve school attendance by providing clothing and toiletries to children in need. Today there are closets in 54 schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and CC has served daily over 32,000 boys and girls from preschool to grade 12. In the storage facility in Dracut, there are hundreds of bags of donated clothing and toiletries that must be sorted before making their way to the network of school closets. We spent the morning sorting, folding, and hanging clothing (see TPC members Ruth Isaacs and Anne Poulin below) – work that we spiced up by bringing attention to the occasional “mom” jeans or voting as to whether a particular article of clothing would be embraced or shunned by a teen-ager. One lucky member left the building with unicorn onesie pajamas that just didn’t make the cut. After our morning volunteering, ED Mickie Cockrell gave us a tour of the facility. We walked through rooms of boxed up shoes in all different sizes, toiletries of all kinds, and too many walls and shelves of neatly organized clothing to count. We encourage you to consider donating good quality clothes, shoes, or toiletries that are suitable for K-12 kids to Catie’s Closet and to visit its website.
Volunteer Day 2: BEST Hospitality Training
TPC members Judy Monahan and Ruth Ferguson traveled to BEST’s Roxbury location to conduct mock job interviews for a small group of students in the Job Seeker Program. These students were in the final days of an intensive training program for the service industry, developing skills for employment in restaurants or on banquet staff. The interviewees included BEST’s usual diverse, talented, and committed students, who were excited about graduating the next day. Following the interviews, Judy and Ruth met with several staff members to talk about BEST’s programs and the outlook for employment opportunities in the hospitality industry in Greater Boston. They learned that BEST grads need interview clothes. While there is a little storage room at BEST offices, if you or others you know would like to donate appropriate business clothing, good options are Dress for Success (Boston); Solutions at Work (Cambridge); or Tailored for Success (Malden).
Finally, as a happy bonus, Judy and Ruth left the BEST offices and went next door to the newly-opened second location for Daily Table, a 2017-2018 TPC grantee, to do some grocery shopping!