Helping others is one way to give back to the Lake Havasu City community.
One necessity that is often taken for granted is clothing. No one ever imagines being in a situation where a basic necessite such as clothing may be so out of reach. For those, there is help.
The Clothes Closet is one of those ways to give back. Formerly known as Calvary’s Closet, the nonprofit has touched countless lives of those who are in need for the past seven years and continues on its mission.
Managed by Christine Watson, the Clothes Closet’s team of diligent volunteers have spent several hours sorting, organizing and distributing clothes to Mohave County residents.
“The volunteers are what have made the closet. Their hard work is the heart of the organization.” Watson explains.
The inspiration for the project started when Watson’s church, Calvary Baptist Church, performed a mission trip to Peach Springs. After a very successful donation of clothes, Watson recognized the need in Mohave County, primarily Lake Havasu City. For the next two years, the closet operated out of 10 donated storage units, each with a separate clothing category.
A fellow business owner, Brad Meel, saw the benefit to the community that the Clothes Closet was providing and decided to be a part of the solution by providing a 2,600-square-foot building.
With the help of 35 dedicated volunteers, the Clothes Closet was providing assistance to impoverished towns as far away as the Mexican Border.
“We had a system, all the clothes had a place they were going. We would help southern towns, teachers in Needles getting clothes for their students, and even Parker children in Child Protective Services. We even helped girls get dresses for Prom,” Watson said.
“We would have an average of 90 people come every Tuesday. It was the volunteers who made it all possible for these people to get what they needed. We have helped thousands with their help,” she said.
In early 2016, Watson’s husband had cancer, and the building where the Clothes’ Closet had been stationed was being shut down. Along with handling a family of four, working 60 hours a week running her graphic design company, Print-It-Havasu, Watson was not sure what the future of the Clothes Closet might be. The team moved all of the supplies into a 40-ft trailer until Clothes Closet could open back up.
As the months passed, the building across from her business became available.
“I just prayed on it. I downsized my supplies so I could keep the Clothes Closet open permanently for those who truly needed the help we could give,” Watson explained.
“We officially moved in August of 2017.”
The Clothes’ Closet new, permanent home is in the back room of Print-It-Havasu across from the Red Onion on McCulloch Boulevard.
Now, the Clothes’ Closet is gathering clothes for snow communities.
Most recently, the Closet raised $2,500 for hurricane victims relief during the event Extreme Machines. The proceeds are being distributed to the affected areas in Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys for infrastructure damages and to nurses helping victims.
In addition to clothing, the Clothes Closet also provides tarps, water and snacks for homeless community members.
“The smiles and relief on people’s faces who really just need a little help. …That’s what makes this long journey worth every second. We all have always wanted to help others. We didn’t have much money to give, so we gave our time and our heart. We are so blessed to be a vessel in which others can give to us and we can give to others. This town is really giving and people really get together to help each other.
“Accurate Measures Cabinet Co., and Custom Counters and Wood Specialties Inc., both donated parts to the shelving which makes the closet a closet,” Watson said. “And there are so many people that have really made this possible.”
Watson shared her gratitude for every individual who has donated time and supplies so the Clothes’ Closet can be a resource for those in need.
For those who hope to start their own organization, Watson advises to be passionate about the cause worth fighting for and to realize that volunteers are the backbone of everything accomplished. For the Clothes’ Closet, Watson believes she could not have done it without them.
Since the beginning, the Clothes’ Closet has operated solely off donation. They are currently in need of new, clean underwear and socks in all sizes as well as water and soft snacks.
If you would like to donate, volunteer, or are in need of assistance, please contact: