United Way of Marathon County makes internal changes to community closet
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The United Way of Marathon County is revamping its community closets, making it easier for those who need help to receive it.
From sorting, organizing, and the way people shop, the United Way Community Closet has seen big changes since May.
“We really saw a need for people to be able to come in and pick out the clothing for their family themselves, and so we’ve expanded open hours to invite people to shop, whether they need clothing for their kids, whether they need clothing for just hanging around at the house, whether they need clothing for work,” said Carly Hanney
Before the new change this month, only social workers could come pick out clothes for kids. The way the closet operates changed because of needs highlighted in the United Way’s own data.
“ALICE stands for asset-limited-income-constrained-employed. That basically means people whose incomes are insufficient to make ends meet,” said Hanney.
The ALICE report says that over one-third of Wisconsinites struggle to make ends meet financially.
“By expanding the number of people that can access this service, and not requiring them to prove income, we’re able to meet a lot more of those families who might be struggling, but you wouldn’t necessarily see it or know it,” said Hanney.
In Marathon County alone, 29% are classified as “ALICE” households. In Wausau, it’s 42%. The need is big and there are many ways to help.
“We want to have people’s new or gently used clothing. We are going to need more volunteer support and that especially is helpful in the form of people, who can be committed to coming in weekly, every other week, once a month to really be in here and help our guests with what they need,” said Hanney.
The new community closet opened on July 10.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new closet on Aug. 17.
If you want more information on the closet, contact the United Way of Marathon County or click here.
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