Clothing center empowers families

Anne Marie Amacher
Linda Lannan, second from left, was honored by Royal Neighbors of America with the Nation of Neighbors Empowerment Award Aug. 10. Pictured are, from left, Darcy Smith, Lannan, Angie Johnson and Zarifa Reynolds.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — An immigrant family from Africa arrived at The Clothing Center at Minnie’s Maison with an interpreter. The family, who recently arrived in the U.S., needed the basics. When Linda Lannan, the clothing center’s project manager, offered silverware to the family, they asked how much they could take. “The whole box,” Lannan responded. “They were uplifted by our kindness.”

Another time, a mother and daughter visited the clothing center after losing their house due to overwhelming medical expenses. “We pulled out a suitcase and filled it with kitchen and bedding supplies,” Lannan said.

Royal Neighbors of America in Rock Island, Illinois, impressed by the effect Minnie’s Maison has on  people in need, presented a $10,000 check Aug. 10 to Lannan for continuation of that good work. Minnie’s Maison is an outreach of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.


Lannan thanked Royal Neighbors CEO Zarifa Reynolds and several of her staff who attended. About a dozen volunteers from Minnie’s Maison also attended. “I accept this on behalf of all the volunteers. Without these volunteers, we would not exist,” Lannan said.

In response, Reynolds said Lannan and the volunteers have the exponential power to clothe people, especially with the cold winters in the region. The work of Minnie’s Maison is so important that Royal Neighbors of America wanted to help ensure the center’s financial security. “Your mission is truly inspiring,” Reynolds said.

The money will go toward the many immediate needs for items such as underwear, bras, socks, jeans, as well as coats for this coming winter, Lannan said. Many of these items are in short supply. “We will use this to fill in the gaps.”

Customers who arrive at Minnie’s Maison leave the clothing center “differently than when they came in,” Lannan said. “You don’t know how much good you are doing,” Reynolds said.

Angie Johnson of Royal Neighbors also thanked Lannan and emphasized that Royal Neighbors “loves philanthropy” and to volunteer, too. The two women talked about how Royal Neighbors’ employees might get involved at Minnie’s Maison.

Connie Moreno, the clothing center’s president, described Lannan as “an amazing volunteer who has dedicated countless hours to helping others. She is always willing to go the extra mile and she always puts the needs of others before her own. We are so grateful to have her as a member of our team.”

Lannan worked in the financial field for decades and moved to the Quad Cities in 1982. In 2009, she left her job due to health issues. When cleared by her physician to work again, she looked for something to do on a volunteer basis. “I saw a notice about volunteers for the clothing center and I have been a volunteer since 2010,” Lannan said. “This mission found me.”

About Minnie’s Maison

The mission of the Clothing Center at Minnie’s Maison is to clothe those in need in a dignified and welcoming manner. Customers may visit Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Donations of new or gently used, clean clothing can be dropped off Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in the far shed in the driveway at 1119 LeClaire St. in Davenport.

The center needs volunteers to sort donations during off hours and to assist customers when the center is open. For more information, email clothingcenterqca@gmail. com or call (563) 362-0915. Visit the Facebook page at Clothing Center at Minnie’s Maison.

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