Clothing giveaway moving to new location
A truckload of people arrived Thursday at Rock Assembly of God Church for its free monthly clothing giveaway.
They weren’t alone.
There were many others attending the giveaway for the first time, including a young mom with her 3-day-old baby, elderly with health issues, grandmas picking up items for great-grandchildren and many unemployed men.
“We opened at 1, and by 1:30 our tables were pretty much empty,” said Pat Markley, who created the giveaway 15 years ago.
When Markley stepped back from her involvement in the giveaway two years ago, it continued at Rock Assembly of God but became a gap ministry program of Love In the Name of Christ, an organization that partners with churches and community agencies to provide help for the disadvantaged.
The clothing ministry is moving to a new church—Orchard View Alliance Church—starting in September, said Raejene Schlenke, Love INC executive director.
“They just felt it was time for a change, and the three rooms that were used for the clothing ministry are needed for Sunday school classrooms and their expanding ministry,’’ she said.
Schlenke said Orchard View Alliance Church is excited about having an outreach ministry to help the community.
Church secretary Tina Wahlers agreed.
“Pastor Andy (Stumbo) presented the idea to our advisory team committee, and everyone got on board. Then we got congregation input. Everyone is very excited about it,’’ she said.
The clothing ministry will be housed in the lower level of the church, 2707 Bond Place, which also has close access to city transit. The giveaway will continue to be 1 to 3 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.
“We have a couple rooms that are going to be dedicated for sorting and a large fellowship area for the giveaway,” Wahlers said.
Five Love INC volunteers will work with 15 church volunteers to accept donations that can be dropped off at doors with the big overhang at the front of the church. Volunteers will sort donations Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Anyone interested in volunteering should call Love INC, Schlenke said.
Schlenke said those seeking help through the clothing ministry has varied from 50 to 200 people each month. She anticipates the August giveaway will create a big draw when families are looking for clothes for children going back to school. She also anticipates October will draw a big crowd when winter clothing, coats and boots will be put out for distribution.
Markley is thrilled Orchard View Alliance Church is stepping up to continue what she started.
“I was just so pleased and felt so blessed another church is going to continue this,” she said.
To give or get help
Love INC’s clothing giveaway is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.
The August giveaway will continue at Rock Assembly of God, 2232 Hermitage Lane, Janesville.
Starting in September, the giveaway will be at Orchard View Alliance Church, 2707 Bond Place, Janesville, where it will continue from 1 to 3 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.
Donations of clothing, shoes, bedding, towels and similar items can be dropped off at Rock Assembly of God before Aug. 16. After that date, donations should be taken to Orchard View Alliance Church.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to sort donations or help during giveaways should call Love INC at (608) 531-1880.