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Outreach organization opens clothing closet

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 8:18 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - East Cooper Community Outreach is re-opening its Clothing Closet for the first time in over year.

The new East Cooper Community Outreach Clothing Closet is located at 1111 Bowman Road.

ECCO Director of Development and Marketing Don Squires says they expanded their food pantry during the pandemic, which led to them putting a pause on the clothing closet.

“Unfortunately, that was a year ago for us now and we have been fighting and clawing trying to get this service back for our clients because it’s so needed,” Squires said.

Director of Operations Erica Woodward says the new clothing store, which has its own location at the site of the old Atkinson Pools store, is unlike any other consignment or donations store.

“We do not take any money,” Woodward said. “We will not have any cash on site. We allot the items for our clients and want to make them have whatever they need.”

ECCO staff says it’s important for their clients to feel comfortable walking into this store, while also knowing it’s completely free.

“It gives clients the opportunity to walk into a store that looks like a clothing store, like a boutique,” Squires said. “They can feel confident, there’s some dignity walking in this store, or seeing a place that is like any other clothing store and clothing closet that you’d walk into in the Charleston area.”

Squires says there has been an increase in requests from clients about reopening the clothing closet.

The Clothing Closet opened this week for donations. They are taking donations for new and gently used clothes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Woodward says their biggest needs are women’s clothing, especially plus sizes, youth or teen clothing, and linens and towels

“So many folks need to have new clothes as we head back into the workforce, as we head back into the new school year in the fall, and just heading into summertime,” Woodward said. “Needing to fill that void for folks that have outgrown things during COVID and just need the opportunity to have something new and make them feel special.”

ECCO plans to officially open the clothing closet for clients to shop on June 1.

More information on getting involved with ECCO can be found on their website.

To be an eligible client, people must live east of the Cooper River, running from Mount Pleasant to Georgetown.

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