Students Go Into Closet for No-Cost Fall Fashion

By: Judah Mclendon, Staff Writer

With summer ending, many students may be wanting to update their wardrobes to the latest fall fashion options. Others, though, may just be needing clothes and be happy to have anything warm to wear.

Oklahoma City Community College is providing a service for students who need clothes called the Clothes Closet, allowing any student who brings a current student ID to get free clothing. 

Partnering with Sharing Tree, the Clothes Closet opened May 20 to give OCCC students access to clothing, whether it be basic, everyday wear or professional wear for job interviews or special events, according to President Jerry Steward in an OCCC news release.

“More than 60 percent of OCCC students who don’t return to college do so for non-academic reasons,” Steward said. “Many of our students face significant struggles. We hope the clothing closet will minimize some of the hardships they battle,” he said. 

The Clothes Closet staff has helped over a hundred students and families since its opening, according to Student Affairs data. 

In an informal Pioneer survey of main campus students last month, only 40 percent knew of the clothes closet’s existence and 10 percent knew of its location. 

The OCCC Clothes Closet is located, in room 1H12 in the Social Sciences building, near the college gym. 

Hours are 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., Mondays  and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursdays. 

Patricia Ross, Recreation and Fitness customer service assistant and a Clothes Closet volunteer, said she has seen student needs be met through the offerings there.

“I find working at the Clothes Closet has been a rewarding experience,’ she said. “I know we have helped many students and their families. This has been a real revelation.”

Even though donations have “flown into the Closet and are quite generous,” lately, there is still quite a demand, Ross said.  

Ross said men and women’s tops are the most donated items, but there is a need for women’s professional wear.

Students who would like to donate to the Clothes Closet can drop off gently used apparel at the Recreation and Fitness Office located near the gym. 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fridays.

Ross said volunteers have helped keep the Clothes Closet running since its creation.

“On occasion, we sometimes need additional help to sort and hang donations,” she said. 

Any students who would like to volunteer time may contact 405-682-1611, or email patricia.l.ross@occc.edu for more information. 

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