Community Christmas Closet:

King's Daughters and Sons Community Christmas Closet seeks to provide new clothing at Christmas time to school children from low income families living in Midland County.

Clothing is purchased using monies donated by individuals, foundations, churches, clubs, and organizations. We are proud that 100% of all donations are used to purchase clothing for children. Any money leftover at the end of the Community Christmas Closet year is transferred to the School Closet.

The Community Christmas Closet provides a sweatshirt, T-shirt, jeans, two pair of socks, two pair of underwear, a hat or headband, and gloves or mittens to each eligible applicant. Schoolchildren living in or attending school in Midland County are eligible if they are from a low income family and attend K-12 or a preschool program such as Head Start. The smallest size stocked is children's size 4.

Local knitters, 4-H groups, and Girl Scout troupes donate hats and mittens. A committee of buyers shop the sales at stores in the Great Lakes Bay Region (with priority given to Midland stores) in order to maximize the buying power of each dollar donated. For the past three years, the average cost of a complete set of clothing has been slightly less than $30.

History:

The Community Christmas Closet was organized in 1961. Prior to that time, the King's Daughters and Sons of Midland, Inc. provided food, clothing, and toys to low income families at Christmas. It became evident that there was duplication of services. King's Daughters and Sons decided to focus on providing clothing to school children. Originally, distribution included homemade dresses for girls and suits for boys. Over the years, the items of clothing distributed have changed with the styles.

Applications (available in September and October):

Applications are distributed by the Department of Human Services, local public and parochial schools, Head Start, the Midland County Health Department, MSU Extension-Midland, Central Michigan Community Mental Health, Midland Cancer Services, ARC of Midland, First Call for Help, West Midland Family Center, North Midland Family Center, Coleman Railway Center, and other agencies that deal with families in need. Applications must be filled out by parents, foster parents, legal guardians, or students if 17 years of age or older. The deadline for applications is the fourth Friday in October.

Donations:

Tax deductible monetary donations are accepted year around. King's Daughters and Sons of Midland, Inc. is non-profit organization described in the IRS Section 510 (c)(3). Checks should be made payable to: Community Christmas Closetm, 2410 Rodd Street, Midland, MI 48640.

Donations of hats and/or mittens can be delivered to the front desk at Midland King's Daughters Home. Please include your name and address in the package.

At the 4-H Fall Awards Banquet in October, the Community Christmas Closet received a donation of 57 hats. The gift was the result of the leadership efforts of a twelve-year-old 4-H member, Grace Pruett, a student at Northeast Middle School. Grace’s project included all of the four H’s: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. Her project required ingenuity and initiative (Head); passion for the project and compassion for others (Heart); skill (Hands), and resulted in warm hats for school children (Health). At Leader Enrichment Day on March 6, 2010, Grace taught a class at Floyd Elementary School to make “Knifty Knitter Hats,” and gave teen and adult leaders suggestions of community groups to which the hats could be donated. She placed a donation bin at the 4-H office to collect any donated hats. Grace collected donations of yarn and purchased yarn at local thrift stores for her project. She enjoyed knitting 30 of the hats over the summer and while she watched TV in the evening. The others were completed and donated by her grandmother, Judy Mott, and other 4-H members.

 

It is obvious that Grace Pruett is not only a leader of tomorrow, but also a leader today! Hats off (or maybe hats on?) to an outstanding youth from Midland Public Schools, Grace Pruett!

 

Foundation Grants:

The following foundations have generously provided monetary grants to the Community Christmas Closet in 2010:

The following foundations have generously provided monetary grants to the Community Christmas Closet in 2011: