Founded in 2004 by Woodbury Lutheran Church member Lori Nixon, the Christian Closet is a way for locals to help those in need in their own community.
Servicing out of the basement of the church, the closet is open every Friday from 8:30 a.m.–noon and provides a variety of clean clothing, shoes, toys, books and household necessities, such as towels, bedding, pots, pans and dishes, for people.
“People are just people and have a variety of uncontrollable circumstances,” Nixon says. “It could be any of us.”
With a desire to make an impact and an eye for practical problem solving, Nixon connected with those working in the church food shelf to figure out a way to organize the clothing donations that frequently came in.
Noticing all of the garments were jumbled together in bags for people to look through, Nixon thought to implement a better system and make it easier for those in need. She began by sifting through the pieces and organizing them by size and clothing type.
With an overwhelming number of garments coming in, she thought it might be a good idea to seek a larger space in the building and apply for grants from the church to invest in racks to hang the clothing. The racks would make it easier for people to look through the items.
“They let me be innovative and entrepreneurial because I really like outreach to the community. I am fortunate that they let me dream,” Nixon says. “That is kind of my thing to do, to think about where there is a need and where we should develop something that can serve other people to make a positive impact on the world.”
After seven years of devoting her time to the closet, Nixon passed the baton to church member Gloria Johnson.
Describing herself as a devout Christian, Johnson was seeking ways to further help service the Lord. “I just felt the Holy Spirit saying that [I should] take it on,” she says.
Johnson adds that it is truly amazing to see how much they can do for those in need.
At the end of each Friday morning, the dozens of racks—approximately 130 feet of them—are rolled away and stored in a small closet to await the next cycle of people.
“It is very rewarding to see that it has been growing and has helped so many people for this long,” Nixon says. “Obviously everyone wishes that there wasn’t this need, but there is. While there is this need it is great that we have organizations that exist to serve in that way.”
How to Donate:
Drop offs are accepted 24/7 at Woodbury Lutheran Church's entrance for those with disabilities or you can drop off items on Fridays from 8:30 a.m.–noon while the closet is open.
Woodbury Lutheran Church
7380 Afton Road