A HIGHER CALLING: The Closet offers hope for Those less fortunate

Abigail Gibson

PIKEVILLE — The Center for New Beginnings Fellowship Church, with the generous help of others throughout the community, is answering a higher calling.


It has opened its door to all those less fortunate with the creation of “The Closet.” It provides all genders with a variety of clothing items which have been donated to the church.


“Once the Center opened, people would stop in for a drink or snack, and we had women’s clothing but when men would stop in they would ask if we had a pair of socks or shirts, but we didn’t have any,” Bethany Arnett said. “I was in Helping Hands shopping for men’s clothes and was telling them why I was getting them.”


Helping Hands wanted to get involved.


Each Monday, workers go through all of their clothing and pull everything off the shelves that haven’t sold in the past four to five weeks and bag it up.


“I was thinking oh goodness, all of these clothes, what will we do with all of them. But, from a previous lesson learned I said ‘yes.’ Helping Hands gives us their clothes, and we open our doors and give them away for free. Almost as fast as we bring them in, they’re leaving out the door,” Arnett added.


It took the Center days to go through all the clothing and organize it by sizes.


Arnett said Helping Hands routinely calls the Center each Monday to let them know more clothing items are available.


“We realized we were given these clothes and we didn’t turn them down because we learned that when you’re a church organization and someone asks if you need this, always say yes because that means God is preparing you for the future, you’re going to need it,” she added.


Each Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Center, an arm of the church, gives away clothes to those in need.


Before Helping Hands involvement, the church only had a supply of women’s clothing, many items which had been donated by Cato’s.


“A woman from our church is a manager at Cato’s. They did inventory and were going to get rid of clothes. She had asked if we could use them at the church,” Amber Collins said. “I told her we really didn’t have a need but we might eventually need them for something. I went to pick them up and there were eight to ten huge boxes full of clothes.”


Collins recalled a woman who had graduated from the detention center program, who was homeless and had nothing.


“We brought her over to the Center and she was able to go through all of the clothes and pick out clothes.”


Arnett said the free clothing was beneficial to not only the community but to church members as well.


“We hung on to the clothes that were given to us, some people in our church needed some so they came in and took some and then it spiraled from there.”


Arnett said there is no formal process to get clothes, anyone is welcome.


She said there have been individuals that come in and say they would really like to go back to school. Church officials are working on having an optional questionnaire for individuals to fill out to express their interests.


“It’s really not about just giving away clothes, it’s really about building relationships with people in our community so we can help in some way,” she said.


She said it’s a blessing to help others.


“We don’t really have any plans from here, we are just doing this from day to day. So far, nothing that we have done has been our plan. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing every day and let God put together the pieces of the puzzle to form the picture that he knows needs to be done,” she concluded.