New Location for Operation 2nd Chance’s Community Closet
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Recently, the Community Closet moved to a new location at 2305 Northwest Loop, across the way from Trinity Christian Academy. Marsha Draeger, one of the main adult volunteers of the Community Closet and mother of Matthew Draeger, was kind enough to sit down and talk with us. Operation Second Chance was first started by the Paris Future Problem Solving team. They started the Community Closet as their three year project and have even gone on to international competitions and won awards for their hard work.
The new location on the loop actually gives the Community Closet up to 20, 000 square feet of room on almost 28 acres of land. With all of this extra room, the Community Closet actually shares space with Servant’s Heart Outreach. When you first walk in, you see the waiting area. It is warm and inviting, with chairs, tables, a couch, and a desk for personnel. There is a bouncer and playpen for kids that are visiting, as well as Ryder’s Crib. Ryder was a newborn that did not live very long after he was born. His parents donated the crib so that babies would have a place to nap.
The hours of the Community Closet are Monday thru Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free diapers are given to families that need them. The Community Closet could always use more volunteers! They are in the process of having the roof re-tarred as they have the materials already but not the manpower at this time. Connections of Paris Tx came out a few Sundays ago and built diaper bins to hold the many, many diapers and pull-ups that are donated to the Servant’s Heart Outreach, a Baby, Children & Diaper Ministry.
Over the next few weeks, the volunteers who man the Community Closet and Servant’s Heart Outreach have the long and arduous task of sorting and organizing all of the clothes, bedding, shoes, etc. that they have. They also accept donations, so if you have any household items that you can donate, please do so. The Operation Second Chance team hopes that this 3 year project turns out to last much longer, to help service the people of the community.
There are many plans in the works for this labor of love. In November, a local church youth group will be redecorating the playroom that sits just behind the front desk. The theme? Jungle. More plans include going through all of the Christmas decorations, collecting more, and making sure low income families have a way to decorate for the holidays. There is also an Angel Tree program in the works for kids 12 and older, as the other program cuts off earlier than that. Which means that many kids do not get anything for Christmas because they are deemed to be “too old”. And, there will be an Open House near the end of November or beginning of December as well as a benefit. So watch this site for more information as the time nears.
Anyone that is in need or knows of someone that could use any of the items that have been discussed in this article simply needs an agency referral to receive help. This is done to make sure that only those that are in need are being helped. For more information, you can visit http://mdraeger.wix.com/operation2ndchance