By Holly Glen Gearhart
At the close of June, the valley loses a resource that for nine years tended to the clothing needs of the community and especially the school district. Valley Clothing, formerly Hope Chest, began clearing their cache of wearable shoes and clothing that had allowed their customers to take what they needed with no restrictions.
It was the end of their lease that brought the decision to this end, says Francesca Mesneak, an organizer of the clothing bank, which was a community service of Tapestry Church in the Fryelands.
“We haven’t been able to find another location to move to in the area.” said Mesneak. “What I will miss the most is seeing the faces of our regular clients.”
Valley Clothing began its outreach service after collections overwhelmed them in their first incarnation as Hope Chest. In a press release they stated, “Valley Clothing was birthed out of the needs of two young moms who wanted to start a children’s clothing exchange… The donations grew and the volume of need in the community grew with it. The name was changed to HANDS and then Valley Clothing to better reflect the direction of the outreach.”
“This is a very bittersweet time for our church,” Tapestry Church Senior Pastor Mike Mesneak said. “It is really hard to close an outreach that meets a real need in our community, as well as to lose that connection with so many wonderful people. But in this time of transition for us at Tapestry, we are looking forward to seeing our community through fresh eyes; to see our surroundings and what other needs we can meet in these tough economic times as we move forward.”
Any clothing left at the end of June will go to other resource outlets in the area. Meanwhile, the Mesneaks are not giving up the ghost in the valley.
“We decided, rather than jump in to something too quickly, we are looking for a new venue and hope to serve the community in this fashion in the future,” they said.