Caring Closet providing students with clothes, shoes and hope - KPTV - FOX 12

BE THE CHANGE

Caring Closet providing students with clothes, shoes and hope

Posted: Updated:
Marilyn Hassmann started Caring Closet as a way to help students in Tigard-Tualatin get the items they need to be confident in going to school. (KPTV) Marilyn Hassmann started Caring Closet as a way to help students in Tigard-Tualatin get the items they need to be confident in going to school. (KPTV)
TIGARD, OR (KPTV) -

Marilyn Hassmann is no stranger to meeting needs.

Having worked in the Tigard-Tualatin School District for years, she witnessed students facing all kinds of challenges.

One challenge, though, she just couldn't ignore.

“I was finding kids that were not coming to school because they didn't have clean clothes,” she explained.

Marilyn felt that she had to do something, so she created Caring Closet, a program that provides clothes, shoes and hygiene products to students, and also often to their siblings.

“There is a lot of need,” she recalled. “The first year I did this we did 100 students. Now we are up over 1,700 a year.“

When students head to Caring Closet, the staff tries to give them an experience just like their classmates would have going to a store.

“We always try to provide the latest fashion,” she said. “It is like a true shopping experience, we let the kids pick it out.”

People in the community and local businesses keep Caring Closet full of both clothes and shoes, and they need to help students kept growing.

"I think what helped me was that the need grew and grew, and keeps growing,” she said.

Marilyn is retired now, but when coming back to the Caring Closet she sees the impact the effort continues to make in the lives of local families.

That impact is also on the minds of those charged with carrying on her mission, like Rose Money.

“This place would not be here if it wasn't for Marilyn's dogged perseverance over many years,” Rose said.

Both Rose and Marilyn said caring closet is on the front lines of helping those in need the most.

“At times it is extremely rewarding and extremely difficult,” Rose said. “What we have realized is not only has the need increased for our services but the urgency for that need has increased.”

For Marilyn, it's all about giving kids an opportunity to succeed.

"I think when kids feel good about themselves and feel like they look like everybody else that they will start to listen to their teachers and realize how important education is.”

Both Marilyn and Rose want to make sure their volunteers get a lot of credit. Many put in more than 30 hours each week.

Due to space and resources, Caring Closet is only able to serve families in the Tigard-Tualtin School District.

To learn more about the program, visit their webpage on the Tigard-Tualatin district site, or follow them on Facebook.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.