A long-standing free clothing pantry, which opens only a few times per year in Fairfield, will operate for the first time in 2020 on Saturday.
Rethreads, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in August, has served hundreds of families over its decade in service. The pantry will serve dozen more families from 10 to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the church of the Nazarene at 1425 Nilles Road, said Michael Albrecht, clothing pantry’s steering committee chair.
“We are proud to continue to serve our community in this capacity and plan to continue working to meet the clothing needs of Fairfield and the surrounding neighborhoods as long as the needs persist,” he said.
Over 45-plus openings within the past 10 years, Rethreads has served an average of 62 families per quarterly opening, which equates to 277 people served per opening. Officials expect anywhere between 100 and 200 to attend, but Albrecht said, “You can never tell as the weather is a big factor.”
It’s expected to reach 50 degrees Saturday afternoon, but the forecast also calls for rain and wind.
More than half of the people who use the free pantry are from Fairfield City Schools, but Albrecht said people from around Butler County, including Hamilton, Middletown, Ross and Lakota school districts, use the service. They also see families in the Winton Woods School District in northern Hamilton County.
Rethreads has provided Fairfield families “much-needed support” by providing clothing, shoes and other essentials, said Fairfield City Schools spokesperson Gina Gentry-Fletcher.
“The volunteers who manage this clothing pantry are true heroes who work tirelessly to meet each and every need,” she said. “To the families and staff members who donate items or help sort on Saturday mornings, we say this: Your work has not gone unnoticed. We appreciate all that you do to make the lives of our families better.”
In addition to the volunteer steering committee, there are several volunteers, including those who can speak Spanish with Hispanic clients, said Albrecht.
When people arrive, they will be assigned a number and assemble on the main floor. At 10 a.m., they will be called to the basement to shop the pantry, which has multiple rooms that include in-season adult and children’s clothing, accessories and shoes, and kids’ toys.
Clothes are sorted by size, season and gender. Albrecht said it’s important for the pantry to have clothes that are modern and don’t have stains.
“We really just want to put out stuff that is good, in-style, name-brand that you’d find in a store,” he said. “We want people to feel proud about what they take away from here.”
Also, everyone who comes for the pantry will be able to eat a free meal, which on Saturday will be hot dogs and Cincinnati-style chili.
The biggest need is for children’s clothing, Albrecht said.
While people are waiting for their numbers to be called, Albrecht said they will be asked a few questions — the school district where they reside and the number of people in the family and ages — but not for names or any type of identification. The data collected is for Rethreads to know how many people are being served and a general idea of where they live. There will also be agencies from around Butler County that will disseminate information for assistance, such as with utility payments, Albrecht said.
The pantry is scheduled to open in April, August and October with a special opening for winter coats and accessories in November.
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