TELFORD — The mission statement lays out exactly what Grace's Closet is all about.
"Grace's Closet exists to demonstrate God's love for all by providing new and gently used clothing and footwear, free of charge, to those in need," it says.
Operated totally by volunteers, Grace's Closet is open 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at Grace United Methodist Church, Pastor Jacqueline Daniszewski, known as Pastor Jackie, said. Appointments can also be made at other times if needed, she said. The church is located at Main Street and Reliance Road in Telford.
"We're very well stocked. We have pretty much something for everyone," Daniszewski said.
Grace's Closet was started after the church held a clothing exchange in 2005, then posted on a website that people could come get left over clothing for free.
"After a few weeks, it became clear that there was a need for this ministry in the community. (There were long lines of people coming for the clothing with some difficult stories to hear of their need)," Grace's Closet history information says.
From its beginnings on only one rack, Grace's Closet has expanded to a large room with racks, shelves and shoe towers containing clothing for males and females, sizes newborn to plus sizes, the information says. There are also maternity clothes and baby items such as blankets, bibs, toys and bottles.
"There's a lot of children's clothing usually that comes in," Daniszewski said.
After showing their identification the first time they come to Grace's Closet, the persons coming there are given a numbered card, which they use in their future visits, she said.
In most cases, people are limited to getting one bag of clothes per month from Grace's Closet, she said.
"If they have a very large family, we'll give them a second bag, but we try to limit it to the one bag," Daniszewski said. "It's a tall kitchen bag now, so that's pretty good sized to get a lot of clothing in."
All the donated clothes are checked out before being put on display for people to choose from, she said.
"There's no stains. There's no damage. There's no holes to be mended or buttons to be sewed on when they take these items," Daniszewski said.
There are currently about 12 to 16 persons or families per month coming to get clothes, she said.
"We have people on our list that come from Philadelphia and all different suburbs of this area, so they're not just right here, although we try to make sure that the people in this area know about it and we try to serve the local areas," she said.
The amount of people coming for clothing is fairly steady, but dwindles some over the summer, she said.
"During the fall and winter, there are more people, especially when we have coats and people are in need of winter coats," Daniszewski said.
A sister church, Tabor United Methodist Church in Harleysville, assists with coat drives for Grace's Closet, she said. Businesses have also done coat drives.
"God has shown us that this ministry has His blessing. Every time we question whether this is really serving others, someone comes in with their story of hardship to share with us. Every time we think we've exhausted our sources for clothing items, more clothes come in than we can handle. And, by the way, we have never had a week without donations," Grace's Closet information from November of 2016 said.
There are cases where people who receive clothes from Grace's Closet return later with donations, such as a woman who came there when she was unemployed, then brought in bags of donations when she was later able to do so, Daniszewski said.
"People do remember it, and that's always a good thing," she said.
To get to Grace's Closet, enter the church from the parking lot using the door with the awning and go down the steps. Grace's Closet is the last door on the left.