Community closet helping Huntsville students in need

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Imagine going to school hungry because you didn’t have any food at home or not having a coat to help you stay warm waiting at the bus stop. For many Huntsville students, that’s a reality , but one woman is trying to change that.

The purpose of the community closet is simple: helping students and families who may need a little bit of help.

If a student needs a new pair of shoes, they’re in here. If they need any hygiene products, the closet has those too. The hope is that no students or families are going to need this kind of help, but the reality is that some of them might, so the closet is stocked and ready for anyone who needs it.

“It immediately meets the needs of the kids right away,” said Audrey Crutcher, vice principal at Riverton Intermediate School.

From school supplies to snacks and warm clothes for the winter weather coming in, this closet has it all.

“It changes their whole spirit for the rest of the day, you know. They go on and I give them their high fives and thumbs up and like you look good, and that’s what all of this is here for,” Crutcher said.

The closet gives supplies to students at six schools in Huntsville; all the students have to do is ask a counselor or teacher for help and their need will be met, no questions asked.

“You know, we don’t think it’s in our neighborhood. We never think it’s in our neighborhood that kids are in need or that families are in need. You walk around your neighborhood and see that everybody has things,” said Shelly Aultman, founder of the community closet. “So to know that the classmate of my son might need food or shoes or a pencil, I just couldn’t let that happen.”

Aultman wants all students to succeed in life and in the classroom and she says this closet is helping to make that happen.

If you’d like to donate to the community closet, items can be dropped off at Riverton Intermediate School.

Community event to benefit Meals on Wheels

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There are 275 elderly, homebound and disabled people in our community who may not receive regular meals over the holidays without your help.

They are members of the Meals on Wheels and Adult Day Care program.

The program’s food supplier closes during the holidays and donations are needed to keep the service going.

Meals on Wheels clients are over the age of 60, unable to cook for themselves due to a health problem, have no one available to cook for them and are homebound. Many have no family living nearby.

Adult Day Care clients are over the age of 18 and are mentally challenged in some way. They attend ADC for fellowship, learning, and physical fitness, and to allow their caregivers to go to work and/or attend to the tasks of daily living.

To ensure these vulnerable neighbors continue receiving the services they need, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is hosting a community broadcast on Saturday, December 1 at the Huntsville/Madison County Senior Center, 2200 Drake Avenue, SW in Huntsville.

No Questions Asked: Free shopping day for families in need

MADISON, Ala. – With the cold weather coming in, you and your family might be in need of some new winter clothes but those coats and sweaters can be pretty pricey.

The Monrovia Church of Christ has a program called the Closet at Monrovia that’s helping families in need stay warm this winter.

Since opening their doors in 2012, the Closet at Monrovia has given away almost 70,000 clothing items to community members in need.

“It’s, of course, a blessing to us to be able to help someone in need and we hope it’s a blessing to them as well,” said Bryan Bates, director of the Closet Ministry.

Acts 20 is something that this church congregation lives by and they help show it during their shopping days every year. They have clothes for everyone and the best part? It’s all free.

“It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” Bates said.

Twice a year, the Closet Ministry hosts a “free shopping day” with donated clothes for anyone who needs it for any reason: job loss, illness or other financial struggles.

No questions asked.

“Sometimes when someone is in a state when they’re in need that can be a difficult thing for them to deal with. It is a source of stress in their life and we want to reduce that,” Bates said.

Bates considers these shopping days as part of their calling and an opportunity to serve the community.

The free shopping day is Saturday, November 10 at Monrovia Church of Christ located at 595 Nance Road. The closet will be open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.