From the Intern Desk: Free Clothing Program Goes Beyond the BasicsJune 28th, 2012
St. Anthony’s Free Clothing Program (FCP) has been encouraging guests to come back again and again through an approach they call “beyond the basics.” There is much more going on here than simply handing out clothes to those in need. Guests are provided with a warm and welcoming shopping experience that gives them the respect and dignity they deserve.
Trish, one of the staff members, describes the FCP as an outlet for individuals who are looking for someone who they can talk to; someone who will listen and care for them. ”We are here to have conversations with the guests, but we communicate on a different level,” she explained. “We talk about how our day is going and try to make shopping here as warm and welcoming as possible.” Trish says that because of the respectful way they treat guests, the energy level is very mellow, laid back, and friendly. They go the distance to accommodate those who speak different languages, have disabilities, or simply need someone to talk to.
Leneina, a St. Anthony’s guest of 15 years, appreciates that the FCP gives her a sense of comfort and peace of mind. The warm welcome she receives puts St. Anthony’s above other organizations. Leneina believes that “this clothing program helps [her] on more than just a physical level. [She feels] supported on a spiritual level because of the respect and fairness [she is] treated with.” All men, women, and children benefit from being able to get their fair chance to shop and acquire what they need, and no one is left out in the cold. St. Anthony’s commitment to serving the community with dignity and respect blossoms here at the Free Clothing Program.