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Traveling Closet expands Community Clothes Closet’s reach

For 43 years, Community Clothes Closet has provided the basic necessities of clothing, outerwear, footwear, towels and bedding to all people in need – always 100% free of charge.

Community Clothes Closet Goes Mobile!

From the start, families who needed clothing had no option other than to visit our Menasha facility. But over the past several years, we’ve seen an alarming increase in transportation challenges for potential clients. With safe and functional clothing, people are better able to focus on the task at hand, feeling confident and included without the threat of ridicule or isolation due to worn, inadequate clothing and shoes. These positive outcomes were not possible in many communities — but a mobile closet could change that.

The Traveling Closet brings clothing to families in need – right where they live. The truck visits homeless and domestic abuse shelters, community centers and schools every 60 days. In late 2022, thanks in large part to investments by a fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and several of its geographic affiliate foundations, the Traveling Closet expanded to serve residents in outlying areas of Waupaca and Calumet counties. Our special thanks to the Community Vision Fund, the Clintonville Area Community Foundation, the Waupaca Area Community Foundation and the Chilton Area Community Foundation.

“Without the collaboration of the team at the Community Foundation, the Traveling Closet would not be reaching nearly as many people. Their donors understood the vision and helped us dream big,” said Executive Director Lisa Jones.

This year, the Traveling Closet will distribute more than 39,000 items of warm and functional clothing to the most underserved areas in Northeastern Wisconsin. Clients are exposed to the services of Community Clothes Closet with the goal to convert these families to monthly shoppers at our Menasha location, when appropriate.

We are honored that Traveling Closet was recognized as one of nine winners at the recent Wisconsin Innovation Awards. In total, more than 300 businesses, products and services from around the state were nominated. Winners were determined by a panel of 19 statewide industry experts and spanned across the state, representing startups, organizations and established businesses of all sizes and industries.

An unexpected outcome is developing as well. We are receiving calls from other areas of the state and the country from organizations who would like to replicate the impact of the Traveling Closet. We are working with these agencies to bring mobile clothing delivery to their communities – most likely with the help of their local community foundations!


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