Canyon Closet to offer women, children clothing to those in need
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — When Gloria Barrett, a special education teacher at Grand Canyon School, saw students coming to class without jackets and warm clothing in the dead of winter, she was concerned and knew she had to do something.
“A lot of (kids) would come to school in not enough weather appropriate clothing, one kid came in shorts one day when it had snowed,” she said.
Barrett's solution is Canyon Closet, a not-for-profit clothing store, where the public can donate and receive clothing for those in need. Barrett compares Canyon Closet to a thrift store, minus having to pay for items.
“(Canyon Closet) is going to be basically a non-profit Goodwill, if you will,” she said. “People can drop off their clothing, exchange clothing for a larger size … it’s going to be something that is available to the community at any time.”
Barrett, who has taught special education at GCS for two years, said she started working on the idea last November. The difficulty was finding a location for the store.
“Between November and the end of December I was trying to secure a place to have it and then the Stilo group stepped in and said, ‘Hey, you can have our office that’s in Tusayan,’” she said.
After securing the location, it took Barrett a few weeks to get organized. She is still moving what clothing and items she currently has to the Tusayan office.
“I have started putting up shelving units and organizing all of the clothes that people are already starting to donate,” she said.
Barrett said Canyon Closet will offer clothing for all ages — newborn through 85 years.
“I have newborn and infant stuff, older women items and everything in between,” she said.
Barrett said the closet is only able to offer women, children and young adult clothing at the moment, but would like to eventually expand to include men’s clothing. She will also offer women’s business suits and jackets.
“In case someone has an interview and needs something nice to wear,” she said.
Barrett said the closet will not charge for any items in the store and will operate on a needs basis, for now. She is seeking volunteers to help staff the store once it opens.
“It’s going to be like the Food Pantry where it’s open a couple of days a week for so many hours,” Barrett said.
Barrett said she will be available by phone if people need clothing items in an emergency.
“I’m willing to open the doors for them or have someone go down there and open the doors for them if they’re in desperate need,” she said.
The Canyon Closet office is located in the same shopping plaza as Buck Wild Hummer Tours and the Chicken Kitchen in downtown Tusayan. More information about Canyon Closet or to volunteer or donate contact Barrett at (928) 699-8651.
Barrett plans to open Canyon Closet by the end of February.
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