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Story by: Ben Calwell
Kanawha Metro
Reproduced by permission.

Beth Lipscomb

It’s a daunting task, but teams of dedicated volunteers at Dunbar First Baptist Church are sorting and tagging hundreds of clothing items and some household goods for the church’s semiannual Clothes Closet.

The spring version of the Clothes Closet, which offers free clothing to anyone in need, is Saturday, April 14th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church, Meyers Avenue and 16th Street.

“Work parties” have been gathering on Wednesday evenings leading up to the event to get the donated items ready, said Beth Lipscomb, who, with her husband, Virgil, are helping to organize the Clothes Closet.

The clothing giveaways grew out of a Sunday school class. It is now a church-wide event.

“We have these events twice a year, in the spring and in the fall,” Lipscomb said. “The church has done it for about four or five years.”

Judging by the number of people who show up every year, the Clothes Closet events are meeting a need in the community.

“We helped about 75 families the last time,” Lipscomb said.

Clara Sullivan, left, and Brenda Keeling sort and arrange children’s clothing at Dunbar First Baptist Church. The church is having its spring Clothes Closet on April 14th. Clothing will be free to anyone who needs it.

The Clothes Closet is open to anyone, regardless of where they live. Dunbar residency is not required.

Clothing for men, women, youth and children will be available.

“For all ages and all sizes,” she said.

Some “home goods” will also be available, such as kitchen items, blankets and towels.

All the items come from donations. The event is also listed on the church’s marquee, and that helps get the word out and spurs donations.

“It’s been completely by word of mouth.”

All the donations are examined for cleanliness and to make sure they are in good repair.

“We have a motto: If you wouldn’t wear it, we don’t put it out.”

Beverly Zabel, left,and Lois Nypl are among the Dunbar First Baptist Church volunteers getting things ready for the church’s spring Clothes Closet event on April 14th.

Families and individuals show up for the Clothes Closet.

“We have a few toys, and the children have fun with the toys while their parents shop,” Lipscomb said. “We have enough to entertain them.”

In preparing for the spring Clothes Closet, the volunteer work parties have been going strong every week for about six weeks.

Items are sorted by size and by what type of clothing each item is.

Lipscomb said Clothes Closet visitors usually show up early.

“People show up early, and if we’re ready, we just let them in,” she said.

Virgil and Beth Lipscomb are helping to organize the semiannual Clothes Closet event April 14th at Dunbar First Baptist Church, 311 16th Street., Dunbar.

Dunbar First Baptist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016.

Sunday services include Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., morning services at 10:30 a.m. and evening services at 6:30 p.m.

There is also a Wednesday Bible study class that starts at 6:30 p.m. Classes and activities for children are also available.

Metro reporter Ben Calwell can be reached at
or by calling 304-348-5188