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Community closet program seeks donations

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 30, 2014 - 9:51 AM |
Tammy Croteau shows off some of the donations in Better Beginnings Better Futures' community closet. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Tammy Croteau shows off some of the donations in Better Beginnings Better Futures' community closet. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Pre-teen girls' clothes desperately needed

Tammy Croteau said she's not sure why, but Better Beginnings Better Futures' community closet always seems to be low on pre-teen girls' clothes.

“We have nothing right now," said Croteau, the organization's volunteer co-ordinator, during a recent visit from Northern Life. "We only have a nightgown and a housecoat. You can't really wear those to school.”

Besides size six-16 girls' clothing, the community closet is also in great need of larger-size clothes for men and women, clothes for teenage girls, sanitary products and household items.

“We just ask if you clean out your closets and do your spring cleaning, to think about Better Beginnings and donate to us,” Croteau said.

The Donovan-area service agency's community closet offers clothes and household items to Greater Sudbury residents free of charge.

People can access the stock of donations Saturdays from 3-5 p.m. or by appointment weekdays. Starting June 28, the community closet moves to its summer hours of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

Given that clothes are expensive and those on social assistance typically don't have enough money to purchase clothes, the program is extremely popular, Croteau said. She said 398 people used the community closet in March alone.

The community closet's popularity might also have something to do with the fact it's open at the same time as Better Beginnings' weekly community supper, Croteau said.

“It looks like there's lots of stuff in here right now, but come Saturday when we open and everybody comes in, when all is said and done, and we're getting ready to close up, this is pretty much empty,” she said.

Even so, Croteau said she wants to spread the word among other community agencies and in the community in general that the service is available.

Donors are asked to bring items to Better Beginnings' 450 Morin Ave. location from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Those who wish to donate large household items are asked to contact Better Beginnings in advance. Although the organization can't store these items, they can often connect donors with clients in need.

For more information, phone 705-671-1941 or visit

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Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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