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A previous opening of Kids Closet at the Learning Center in Greensburg is shown. As a COVID-19 social distancing precaution, children must be preregistered to shop at the upcoming Kids Closet opening and will have a limited time to make their selections.

GREENSBURG — Kids Closet of Decatur County will be open Oct. 20 and 21 with appointments taken from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Preregistration is necessary and available at 812-621-0158 or by visiting www.signup.com/go/YPABjVZ. To accomodate CDC protocols, masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

For the second time this year, the event is by appointment only.

Kids Closet founder Sue Abplanalp said the changes made per the pandemic for the last opening went well.

“It was scary to change, but we had to because of COVID-19,” she said.

According to Abplanalp, at previous back-to-school openings almost 200 kids would line up outside the Learning Center’s gymnasium doors waiting their turn to shop. She became worried about the kids at the openings because of the cold weather.

“When we do it by appointment-only, we get a chance to meet the families one on one, and it’s just better for everyone,” she said.

Each family is asked to bring only the child or children being “shopped” for.

“When there are so many little ones running around in here, it makes it hard,” said Abplanalp “With the noise and the chaos gone, it’s a better chance for them to shop.”

Abplanalp has been pleased with her volunteers.

“We have such good luck with our volunteers. They’re all from churches. I really believe this is God-led,” she said.

Children must be accompanied by an adult, and proof of Decatur County residency (drivers licence, recent utility bill, etc..) is required if they are a first time shopper.

Kids Closet Secretary Katelin Kruthaupt told the Daily News, “We are working on a transition from personal emails to an organization email for a much smoother process of spreading information than we had before, and we are expanding and adding pre-kindergarten now.”

Abplanalp said the Decatur County community has always been supportive of Kids Closet and that she very much appreciates that support.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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