By Cory L. Higgs
The charitable spirit of giving is alive and well in Meadows of Dan this holiday season, with the pop-up shop offering winter clothing to those who may need a little help staying warm this winter.
Housed in the Meadows of Dan Food Market’s greenhouse is the charitable pop-up shop that aims to clothe those who are going without in the cold of winter.
Fran Durden is at the store helm, organizing and delegating volunteers to staff and stock the store.
“We are Community Clothing Closet, offering free winter clothing and coats to anyone who needs some warm clothing this winter. All of the clothing and coats are donated; volunteers staff the Clothing Closet,” said Durden.
Her goal is to provide winter clothing and coats to anyone in the area that is in need. She was inspired to create clothing closets in Meadows of Dan after reading about a similar operation in the Floyd County community of Willis.
“The Meadows of Dan Food Market was kind enough to allow us to use their garden shed area adjacent to the store free of charge,” she said.
Keeping costs low to maximize charitable giving is a top priority, and that is where the volunteers come in,” according to Durden.
“Right now we have about eight volunteers who help staff the Clothing Closet, sort and wash donated clothing,” Durden said. She also noted the potential volunteering of Meadows of Dan Elementary students, who will help wash and sort clothing as it is received.
Jason Wood, principal of Meadows of Dan Elementary School, said that he has seen a lot of interest from the children for volunteering. However, due to the limited space at the pop-up, only three students can volunteer at a time.
Wood said that an anonymous donor is contributing money so that youngsters who volunteer can go on a fieldtrip to Richmond and Williamsburg.
Durden says that all donations of clean clothing, coats, and shoes are welcome, and that folks interested in volunteering to staff the pop-up closet are in high demand. She noted it would be great if someone is interested in staffing the store for a few hours during regular working days.
“The Meadows of Dan Community Clothing Closet is a community effort. All of the clothing and coats are donated by folks around here, and the folks helping to staff the Clothing Closet are our neighbors. Neighbors caring and sharing with our neighbors,” said Durden.
The pop-up closet will be around after the holidays until early March as the weather starts to warm up. It is open Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., as weather permits.