A “green” venue

First Lutheran Church of the Trinity is humbled and blessed by the gifts that the community provides for our ministry, God’s Closet, week after week.  In October we celebrated Socktober, a national sole warming movement that gives everyone an easy and fun way to help those in need within their very own neighborhood. This year we specifically asked for hygiene supplies, men’s pants, and underwear. We appreciate everyone in our community who came trough.

During this month we have heard more questions about just what God’s Closet does.  You’ve likely heard that God’s Closet is a free, volunteer run clothing pantry located in the community center at First Trinity. Additionally, you might know that our neighbors share a meal twice each week. We are open Tuesdays from 5-7 and Fridays 10-noon. Anyone is welcome to shop God’s Closet and there are no requirements for residency, income, or need.  Donations are tax deductible and we are happy to provide a receipt form for your records.

Our mission statement is: Heeding the biblical commands to care for the poor, to clothe the naked, and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self, and recognizing the call of faith to be responsible stewards and caretakers of an increasingly fragile planet, God’s Closet at First Trinity strives to provide an alternative source for clothing and other goods in the Bridgeport community. The intent of God’s Closet is to provide both resources for those in need in a life-giving way, and a “green” venue for the redistribution and re-purposing of clothing and other goods.

We encourage not only those experiencing homlessness to come shop God’s Closet, but teachers, parents, artists, and others who can put gently used clothing and housewares to good use.  We receive donations from neighbors, churches, organizations, and businesses  We receive so many donations that a few times each year we clear out the out-of-season clothing and bring it to Savers, a relationship that funds our meal programs and helps with the utility bills.

While the church does employ an administrator and pastor who are involved in God’s Closet, the clothing pantry is completely volunteer run.  Volunteer leaders spend about 10-15 hours a week in God’s Closet, along with drop in volunteers who come to help at various times.  We accept volunteers who are seeking community service hours for school or court.  Shared meals are prepared twice each week by individual volunteers, church groups, youth groups, classes, local businesses, and occasionally elected officials.

God’s Closet has a few simple rules.  We do not tolerate discrimination, sexual misconduct, violent language and behavior, intoxication, or selling of donated items. We believe that volunteering is a privilege and a responsibility, and the work of volunteers is to be done with dignity and respect for all who might be served by the ministry of God’s Closet.

Did we answer all of your questions?  Check our website if you have more, or contact gcloset@firsttrintiychicago.com  https://firsttrinitychicago.com/gods-closet/  Or really, just stop by and say hello!  We’ll be happy to show you around!