Caring Closet Recyling Drive

By Sonora Simons

TTSD’s Caring Closet Sorting Room at Tigard High School. Photo by Avonlea Raschdorf

By, Sonora Simons

Bottles and cans piled up at schools across Tigard-Tualatin School District for the Caring Closet’s second annual recycling drive on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

For the past 14 years the Caring Closet has helped students throughout the TTSD by supplying them with clothes, hygiene products and school supplies. The Caring Closet is located in a portable on the Tigard High School campus. It is entirely run by volunteers and supplied with donations from companies and the community. The Caring Closet’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty, make kids want to go to school and help them feel good about themselves.

“The volunteers and I want to make the Caring Closet a safe, warm place for everyone who comes,” said Marilyn Hassman, director and founder of the Caring Closet. Recent renovations and donations have added to their desired boutique atmosphere.

According to Hassman, the proceeds from the recycling drive go toward buying clothes, shoes, books and many other necessities for low-income families and kids in the TTSD. Last year they raised a total of $4,000.  They hope to raise $5,000 this year.

The closet continues to help an increasing number of people each year. According to Hassman, the Caring Closet helped a total of only 100 kids its first year, but now helps about 20 to 25 people a day. “About 2,000 families just in the Tigard-Tualatin School District alone are homeless,” said Hassman.

The closet sorts though hundreds of clothes each day and the volunteers pick the best clothes to give away. Diana has been a volunteer for five years. “It’s nice volunteering here. The people here are really nice and you feel like you are doing something important. I love the fact that we reuse and recycle,” said Diana.

Janie is another volunteer. “I retired from education and wanted to volunteer to help kids. The Caring Closet is a perfect place to go and help families. Helping hundreds of people is really satisfying,” said Janie.

With the increasing amount of customers, the Caring Closet is in need of more donations and volunteers. Currently it needs more boy’s pajamas, teen girl’s and boy’s clothes, winter coats and is completely out of hats and gloves. To donate, you can visit the Caring Closet on Wednesday or Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or you can drop off your items in the bin marked “Caring Closet” at your school site. To volunteer you can contact Marilyn Hassman at (503) 603-1576.

The next big event for the Caring Closet is in April called “Stuff The Bus.” For this donation drive, TTSD students will be filling up school buses at their school sites with designated items for the Caring Closet. Check their website for details at