PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Save The Closet, a local non-profit created after Hurricane Michael’s devastating effects on the Panhandle, has been busy working with families impacted by more landfalling hurricanes this year.
Save The Closet Treasurer, Amanda Godsey, said the charity was founded by Katy Pinson.
“She started Save the Closet after Hurricane Michael because she saw the need for people to have donations with dignity instead of just being donated bags of clothes that may or not fit,” she said.
Godsey said the non-profit’s goal is to provide a comforting experience for disaster victims, a place where families can browse already organized by size clothes, in good condition, as if they were at a retail store.
This year they have had their work cut out for them. The season has been incredibly active with forming hurricanes; two storms, Hurricane Laura and Sally, making landfall along the Gulf Coast.
Save The Closet coordinated with a resident in Louisiana, Penny Seneca, to bring their operation to Lake Charles. Seneca said she was highly impressed by Save The Closet’s work.
“They really set things up so nice. They treat people with such dignity having things set up so nice so they can truly have a nice shopping experience, with clothes on hangers and sized,” she said.
While it may feel like a nice shopping experience one local Lynn Haven resident, Jorden Cullen said the non-profit asks nothing from you. Cullen lost her home to flooding in Hurricane Sally earlier this month. Rainwaters rising up and into her ground floor apartment, destroying their furniture and their clothing.
“It was all just a wonderful experience to meet all of them and be able to go, there was no embarrassment with it, they didn’t ask for anything, they were just welcoming,” Cullen said.
Those interested in assisting with the Cullen family’s recovery efforts can click here.
The organization has not only worked hurricanes, their Facebook page stating they helped families who lost homes and clothing from the Mussett Bayou Fire in Walton County earlier this year. Godsey said they are now assisting local families in need of new clothing but are struggling to afford them after job losses due to COVID-19.
Save The Closet leadership said they are so grateful for the clothing donations provided by the community, but to continue their operations beyond October, they will need monetary donations.
To raise funds for operational costs the charity will be selling Halloween costumes on October 3 and October 10 at the Panama City Farmer’s Market on 218 Harrison Ave open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Save The Closet will be set up on Park Avenue.
For more details on how the charity can be assisted in other ways click here.