Oxford, Cosgrove youths help out at thrift shop

Shanlie Phillips bags clothes at the Crowded Closet thrift shop in Iowa City Oct. 9.

By Kris Peterson

The youth group of St. Mary Parish in Oxford and St. Peter Parish in Cosgrove met Oct. 9 for a morning of volunteering at the Crowded Closet, a second-hand store in Iowa City.

The Crowded Closet provides vouchers for people who need clothing, shoes, household goods and more. The shop works directly with several local organizations, including the Salvation Army. Crowded Closet focuses on raising money for Third-World countries.

Twenty-one Catholic teens folded and sorted clothes, put items out for purchase, bagged at the register and did a number of odd jobs. When finished, the youths discussed how hours volunteered have a value similar to money because the store depends on volunteers’ time and effort to stay open.

Then, adult leaders gave each teen $1 and reminded students that it was all some people have. Youths were asked to buy an outfit with that $1 because some people only have the clothes on their backs. The morning was an eye-opener, participants said.  They ate lunch together to talk about their experiences and agreed that they enjoyed volunteering.


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