Grant allows clothing center to add security system


By Zach Spicer | The Tribune

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The Jackson County Clothing Center offers gently used clothing, bedding, blankets and towels for free for people who need them.

They don’t accept tires, which someone dropped off after hours last fall, and they don’t want people going through the dumpster out back or putting their personal trash in it, which has happened multiple times.

For the protection of the premises and the volunteers who help operate the center at 622 W. Second St., Seymour, a security system has been installed.

That was made possible through a $700 grant from the Greater Seymour Trust Fund. Established in 1969 by Elbert S. Welch to serve the charitable, cultural, scientific, religious, literary and educational needs of the community, a diverse board of managers administers the fund, and JCBank serves as its trustee, according to

Many of the component funds were established to provide college scholarships, but the fund also provides special grants to community organizations requesting money for projects that serve the public good in the community.

Cheryl Vierling, secretary of the clothing center’s board, decided to apply after the vandalism, theft and other incidents.

“I was so excited about this,” she said of the clothing center being among the grant recipients. “I just wanted everybody in Seymour to know and thank JCBank.”

The grant paid for installation of the security system by N-I-Tech LLC of Brownstown.

“The gentleman and the workers were just phenomenal,” Vierling said. “They were courteous, kind and thoughtful. I was just so excited.”

The system records 24 hours a day on motion, and center volunteers can look at a screen to view the front and back of the building’s exterior.

“If they come on the front porch or a person is walking by and they drop off something not appropriate for what we need or we have vandalism, then it will take care of it,” Vierling said of the capability of the system.

On March 25, a photo of the damaged dumpster was posted on the clothing center’s Facebook page. They have to keep the dumpster locked because people have used it to discard personal trash, and it has had to be repaired three times.

“We give away everything free, so why in the world would you destroy our dumpster?” Vierling said. “That’s what we’re really worried about. We can’t understand why somebody would break into our dumpster. That’s the stuff we throw away.”

She said she has a policy that if donations have stains, tears or holes or are dirty, they are thrown away. And if there is an excess of a certain item, it’s donated to Orphan Grain Train in Jonesville.

“My goal is to make somebody feel good about themselves,” Vierling said of having clean items to give away.

She said she doesn’t have a problem with people looking through the donation box on the front porch after hours, but sometimes, they tear up the bags and make a mess, and that’s not acceptable.

The clothing center is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The nonprofit organization has been in operation since 1982 and has always been run by volunteers.

“We really need volunteers,” Vierling said. “We want to continue to provide this good service.”

Vierling has applied for another grant to buy items to make the volunteers’ job easier.

Donations are needed, too. Currently, spring and summer clothing, sheets, towels and new socks and underwear are being accepted.

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