Have you heard about the Caring Closet or the Caring Cupboard at MASH? The proctor of the Closet/Cupboard is Mrs. Stearns, the French teacher at our school. She gave The Bark a fascinating interview, telling us all about the Caring Closet and Cupboard and what they do and will be doing for our school.
What is the Caring Closet?
“The Caring Closet offers clothing, coats, shoes, to anyone who needs them, all free. Some are used and some are new. Very high quality, we only keep the best stuff.” The Caring Closet is there for students in need who need any clothing at home. They also have a laundry room for students to wash their clothing, called the Laundry Basket, completely free for use.
What is the Caring Cupboard?
Similar to the Caring Closet, the Caring Cupboard, Mrs. Stearns says, “offers food bags on weekends to students who don’t have enough food at home, breakfast, lunch and dinner options.”
What are the Caring Closet/Cupboards goals for MASH?
“Our main goal is to make sure all students have basic needs met and to preserve student dignity.”
What made you (Mrs. Stearns) interested in creating the Caring Closet/Cupboard?
Mrs. Stearns actually did not create the CC but built it up for our students to use for years to come. “It was fledgeling. I did not create it. It was a small closet at first and I saw a need for it. I also grew up poor and understand needing things, so I guess I understand kids needing to swallow their pride and asking for help.” Mrs. Stearns understands her students and understands being in need.
How can we as students be more involved with the Caring Closet/Cupboard?
The main thing Mrs. Stearns wishes students would do for the Caring Closet/Cupboard, is not to be afraid of admitting that they need the help the CC can provide for them. As Mrs. Stearsn explains, ““I would really love for kids to speak up to needing things from the CC. We wish to give out 20 bags instead of 10 to use more of our services. Not feeling like its a stigma. We have Hollister and PINK brand clothing. We give new shoes. We have great quality items that many students are grateful for.” The CC has top notch quality items that students can enjoy. Mrs. Stearns is concerned that students think it’s not nice clothing for them, considering they are free items, but really it is very nice clothing, as she explained.
Are there any objects that the Caring Closet is in need of?
Mrs. Stearns says that the CC is always in need of sweatpants, sweatshirts, leggings, and gym clothes, since they are highly requested.
What is the Caring Closet currently working on?
The season of holidays is drawing near so the CC is working on a christmas tree giveaway. They have already collected 9 artificial trees, lights, and ornaments. They have 9 families selected to receive these trees for the holidays so they can have a Christmas just like the rest of our students.
Mrs. Stearns also kindly stated, “This is just as important to me than my teaching job. It is very dear to my heart.” She would very well appreciate the support from our school, students and staff, to support the Caring Closet and the Caring Closet because from what we’ve seen, the Caring Closet/Cupboard really is caring.