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Kids’ Closet of Decatur County has been in operation since 2011. During the pandemic, children got to shop with their parents one at a time, and that tradition continues.

GREENSBURG —Kids’ Closet will have their next opening from 3:30 to 7 p.m. October 5 and 6 at the Learning Center, 422 E. Central Avenue, Greensburg.

Children from preschool to 8th grade will have an opportunity to shop, and must be accompanied by a parent.

To register for the event, go to www.signup.comgodwreLEb and follow the prompts or go to the Kids Closet of Decatur County on Facebook and click the link.

Children must be accompanied by a parent and must have proof of Decatur County residence in either driver’s license or utility bill form.

Each child will be able to choose a package of underwear, a package of socks and a pair of shoes. Girls will also receive a cami.

History

In early 2011, the Daily News featured an article about the Kids’ Closet of Decatur County, founded in the basement of First Christian Church by former teacher Sue Abplanalp and a group of volunteers.

Abplanalp’s dream was to provide new and gently-used clothing to local children for free so the children would be able to feel the self-confidence boost that comes with new clothes.

Since its founding, Kids’ Closet has helped hundreds of local children and distributed thousands of clothing items. With four openings a year, local children can receive clothing for each season and parents are able to see a very welcome break for their checkbooks with the money saved.

More than 60 percent of the children in Decatur County receive free or reduced lunches, a statistic that shows a great local need. Children whose parents may not have been able to afford to buy new clothes still get to head to school this week looking and feeling good in their new outfits.

Abplanalp taught kindergarten for many years and saw the need for clothing in children of low income families.

“I saw them mistreated and teased because they always wore hand-me-downs and I thought, ‘You know, I think that’s what I want to do when I retire is help those families find clothes for their kids,’” she said.

Abplanalp and a few friends (all volunteer) started the first Kids’ Closet in the basement of First Christian Church in 2012. They provided 100 children with new clothing, all from donations from local businesses and from shopping trips of their own.

The success of the event surprised and delighted them, and they’ve been forced to move twice now because of the simple lack of space such a community supported effort required. The organization found a permanent name (Kids’ Closet of Decatur County), applied for their 501c(3) not-for-profit status, and the rest is history.

Registration is required and the event is open to Decatur County children only.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-651-0876 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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