Clothing, toy drive may have to shut down in Middletown

A downtown business that has opened its doors to assist the homeless isn’t sure how much longer it will be allowed to operate its free clothing drive.

During the holidays, Blueline Protection Services/Intelligence Risk Management, a security and private investigation company based at 1321 Central Ave., collected items for the less fortunate and gave them away without asking any questions.

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But now the owners of the business, Kyle and Madison Brummett, said their landlord has told them to stop operating their clothing and toy drive from inside the building, they said.

On Wednesday morning, there were still clothes, shoes, toys and household items in the lobby of the business. Kyle Brummett said the inventory has been reduced because he’s unsure how longer the depot will be permitted to operate.

They have rented space from Finkelman Real Estate since August without issue, they said. Rachel Lewitt, the owner of Finkelman, was unavailable to comment.

The Brummetts traditionally donate to local toy drives, but this year, they decided to collect gently used items and give them to the less fortunate. Not wanting to operate the drive out of their home, they used the front of their downtown business. Thanks to social media, word quickly spread throughout the community and they were overwhelmed by the donations and the need from the community.

Madison Brummett’s Facebook page soon was “flooded with messages from people stating the things that they needed,” said Payton Ogan, marketing coordinator for the company. She said the donations quickly “blew up.” She said those who need items aren’t required to show an ID and they can stop by as often as needed.

She said the owners and staff have formed “close relationships” with many of the homeless in the community.

Kyle Brummett said some of those who received items now are giving back to the program.

“It was a great community thing,” he said. “It has been touching. We have learned about some of their struggles and not to take anything for granted.”

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