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Fri, Nov. 27

Canyon Closet to provide clothing needs at Grand Canyon Village
Grand Canyon Village residents welcome new non-profit, free clothing exchange

Canyon Closet is offering free clothing for residents and visitors to Grand Canyon Village. Canyon Closet was started by Grand Canyon resident Gloria Barrett, who saw a need in the community for a clothing exchange store. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

Canyon Closet is offering free clothing for residents and visitors to Grand Canyon Village. Canyon Closet was started by Grand Canyon resident Gloria Barrett, who saw a need in the community for a clothing exchange store. (V. Ronnie Tierney/WGCN)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Another valuable resource for Grand Canyon village residents is expected to open soon and for some, the timing might be just right with colder temperatures setting in.

Providing used clothing at no charge, Canyon Closet is a non-profit, free clothing exchange that was formally located in Tusayan and is now going to be housed at the Grand Canyon Community Library in Grand Canyon Village.

While an official opening date has not been released for the clothing exchange, it is expected to be announced in the near future.

“We will be stocking clothes for men, women and children as well as toys, shoes, boots, blankets and sheets,” said founder Gloria Barrett. “From infant to adult, we hope to provide for all ages.”

The new location would not only offer a larger space but has windows, heating and good lighting.

“It’s nice especially in the winter months,” said Barrett.

The entrance to the closet will be located at the back (north) side of the library.

“When Gloria and the PTA expressed a need for permanent space for the Canyon Closet at our Community Wellness group meeting, we knew we had to find a home for this important service,” said Grand Canyon National Park Chief Ranger Matthew Vandzura. “This is a great expansion of social services here in our community. Help from Grand Canyon Conservancy (GCC) in donations and skilled labor has accelerated Gloria’s ability to open the Canyon Closet.”

Barrett has been working on the store for weeks, cleaning the space and installing shelves.

“This will really help us carry a lot more items and make efficient use of our space,” she said. “To keep in compliance with National Park Service (NPS) historical building regulations, shelving has been installed using previous holes in the walls.”’

Barrett will be responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the store, such as cleaning and spot painting. NPS will take care of the rest.

Grand Canyon Food Bank founder Mike Scott said the Canyon Closet is a much needed and welcome addition to the community.

“Hats off to Gloria and her helpers for getting it up and running. I stopped in earlier in the week and they already have a good selection of clothing,” he said.

Once it opens, Barrett said she wants to emphasize that the Canyon Closet is open to anyone in the community and is not based on financial status.

“Some residents bring in old clothing and pick up a few new-to-them items. Especially people with growing children,” she said.

To conform with COVID-19 regulations, Barrett, along with the NPS, has created a plan to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“A max of three people including the volunteer will be allowed,” she stated. “Masks are required and gloves are optional and staff will be available (to help) if needed.”

Residents of Grand Canyon Village said they are excited to have options that the closet will provide.

“This is fantastic. Having a fairly large family, we’re not always able to afford brand new clothes,” said one resident. “We’ve only been to the Canyon Closet once, but so excited to go back.”

Currently, the Canyon Closet is in need of additional volunteers along with children’s hangers and hangers for jeans.

“As we procure more volunteers we can be open more hours,” said Barrett.

The Canyon Closet plans to make announcements and provide updates to community members via the Grand Canyon Yardsale Facebook page, along with flyers.

Donations to the Canyon Closet may be dropped off during business hours. Clothes must be washed and placed in a trash bag for two weeks unopened and untouched. The Canyon Closet is not able to give tax receipts.

“We would rather play it safe than have possible infection,” Barrett said.

More information about Canyon Closet is available from Gloria Barrett at president@grandcanyonschoolpta.org

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