Source: Sherman Publications

Brandon Clothing Closet

by Susan Bromley

October 30, 2013

Brandon Twp.- This community has a pantry to feed the hungry and a seasonal toy store stocked with donated gifts for children at Christmas. Now there is a closet to provide clothes for those in need, too.

The Brandon Clothing Closet has opened at the Brandon Education Center, formerly Belle Ann Elementary. More than 200 items of clothing in all different sizes for both children and adults and ranging from shirts and pants to coats, gloves and shoes, are currently available for families in need. Kristy McDonald, a Brandon Alternative High School teacher, is running the closet and hopes to add many more items to help the community.

“We have all different sizes, tons of clothes,” said McDonald, who was glad to be able to help a family who had suffered through a house fire earlier this year. “I have always wanted to help people out, that’s why I became a teacher and this feels like the extra mile.”

She notes that people often donate clothes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, but she wanted a way to help people right here in the community, providing free clothing.

While the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund (OCEF) provides food monthly to low-income families and also provides a place— St. Anne Church— for the Community Christmas Toy Store distribution each year, there is simply not enough space to store clothing donations. However, some closet space opened up with the reconfiguration of school buildings this year. Now, there are several empty classrooms available at the former Belle Ann Elementary.

McDonald is seeking donations of clothing and shoes, as well as blankets, and she wants people to know there is help available. Student volunteers help sort and fold the clothes.

“We are really looking to make this worthwhile and have a consistent flow in and out of clothes to help the community,” she said. “Our goal is to have our community take care of each other.”

Donations of gently used clothing can be dropped off at the front door of the Brandon Education Center, 155 E. Glass Road. For more information on how to donate or to receive help, contact Kristy McDonald at