Members of Girl Scout Troop 1239 and the Owl’s Nest 4-H Club toured the Jackson County Clothing Center in Seymour and completed a service project while there.
Both groups brought items to donate, such as summer tops, shorts, skirts, towels and bedding.
Joan Roth, director of the clothing center, showed both groups what it takes to run the clothing center.
For the Girl Scout troop, it was not only a service project, but it also was an opportunity to work on a badge for any Junior or Cadette who participated. Every troop or club member brought one or more bags or boxes of items to donate.
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The Juniors had the opportunity to work on their Scribe badge. After the tour, each of the Junior Girl Scouts had the opportunity to think about how they could use the tour to write a story encouraging Jackson County residents to donate to the clothing center.
The first step was to write a short poem (four lines) about the clothing center to share with the troop. The second and third steps were to write a little story about who they are and what they learned while touring the clothing center.
Finally, they turned their story into an article for The Tribune to spread the word to the world about the Jackson County Clothing Center.
“We have lots of artists in our Girl Scout troop, so I had been trying to figure out how to give the Cadettes the opportunity to work on their Comic Artist badge,” said Missy Casner, who leads the Girl Scout troop and 4-H club.
Last summer, Girl Scouts Mia Prewitt and Olivia Reinhart wrote a cartoon story about the troop’s first camping trip, so Casner thought several of the girls could write a cartoon about the clothing center.
“Step 1 was easy. They already love comics,” Casner said. “I know my daughter is an avid Saturday Tribune cartoon page reader. Technically, all teens and kids tell stories every day with their emoticons, right?”
For Step 2, they had a story to tell. They reached out to people in Jackson County using a comic display in hopes that people would learn they could donate clothes, toys and small household goods and be recipients of these same items.
For Step 3, they were asked to draw out the visual story that would reach out to people using comic art, like callouts, themselves depicted as a superhero for the clothing center, etc.
Next, they grouped the story into four scenes, frames or panels with a few words on each scene. Finally, it was submitted with the Juniors’ articles to be published.
“During the tour, Joan talked about the history of the Jackson County Clothing Center,” Casner said. “It was during that moment I realized that this was the place where my grandmother, Maud Heacock, spent many hours volunteering. I remembered that she would work endless hours replacing buttons on shirts, patching holes in jeans and taking clothes home to wash to improve the quality of clothing offered to the recipients.”
Today, Casner said they don’t often mend clothes, and they ask for the clothes brought to the clothing center to be gently used and clean.
“At that moment, I felt honored to offer my assistance to Joan when we found out that the online presence had the Jackson County Clothing Center address and phone number listed incorrect,” she said. “Now, if you Google or look up on Facebook the Jackson County Clothing Center, you get the 207 N. Pine St. address and the 812-522-3381 phone number.”
Roth told Casner that since the contact information and location were corrected, donations have picked up.
If you want to help or you or someone you know is in need, the clothing center is open from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If this time doesn’t work for you, reach out to the clothing center to arrange a possible alternative time.
The clothing center offers a barrage of gently used clothing, shoes, coats, bedding, household goods, books, toiletries and more. It does not accept large furniture or appliances because it doesn’t have room for those items.
All items are free but are available on a limited basis. Customers are required to fill out an information form, which is updated at each visit. There are limits per person depending on the time of year.
“During August, it is the summer and back to school limits, which includes new socks and undergarments subject to availability,” Casner said.