They call me Miss Denise!
“I had been out for five months doing some very intense physical therapy. When I was able to come back to volunteer at the Joseph’s Coat (aka clothing bank), the clients at the Mission told me how much they had missed me.” That is the kind of relationship that volunteers develop while serving at the Mission, and Miss Denise (as clients affectionately call her) can vouch for that.
“It’s easy,” says Miss Denise, “to develop relationships if your heart is really there.” She cautions anyone that “You can’t separate yourself from these folks, and yes, they may not have had a shower or clean clothes for some time, but they need a hug as much as you or I do.”
“I get so much out of volunteering at the Joseph’s Coat. I like to play the role of being their personal shopper, so I set items aside that I know they might like. One man likes soccer shirts and one of the gals loves Hello Kitty – I just want them to feel special and know that someone is thinking about them.”
“There is a rule that we don’t keep suits, but one time I couldn’t help but save out a black suit that had been donated.” Weeks later, Miss Denise said a young man came through the door and told her his father had suddenly died. His family was unaware that he was homeless and living on the streets. He had been given money for a bus ticket home, but had nothing to wear to the funeral. Miss Denise pulled out the black suit that she had kept in the back room and had him try it on. She exclaimed, “It was as if it had been tailor made for him.”
Donate new and gently used clothing M-F, 9-5pm | 413 Franklin St NE, Olympia WA 98501 | 360.709.9725