Martha’s Closet relocates after Morrisburg laundromat fire

Martha’s Closet volunteers Wendy Lewis and Brenda Millard.

MORRISBURG – Martha’s Closet, a program that makes new clothing available to those in need, has relocated but is still going strong.

The program, part of the community outreach offered by the Anglican Parish of South Dundas, had to relocate due to the fire on Fifth Street in Morrisburg on December 28th which leveled the building which housed the laundromat.

Martha’s Closet began over a year ago when an Ottawa location of Mark’s Work Wearhouse partnered with the parish to send store returns to a good cause.

“Many of the items were new but had been returned to the store,” said Wendy Lewis, who coordinates Martha’s Closet for the parish. “The company donates returned items to different charities.”

She said that if items are received from the store damaged, those items are repaired by volunteers in the parish so they are “good as new”.

Before the fire, volunteers would place totes with many items at the Fifth Street laundromat one day per month.

“The items were there for free for anyone who needed them,” she said. Placing the boxes at the laundromat was a way of taking the stigma out of receiving help.

“What’s more normal than doing your laundry,” Lewis asked. “If people needed things, they can just add them to their normal laundry baskets.”

The fire has forced the outreach program to change a bit. Beginning in January, the program runs out of the downstairs hall of the St. James Anglican Church on 20 High Street in Morrisburg. Lewis said that the change presents an opportunity to grow the program more.

“I’d like to see it evolve into more freewill giving where people who are downsizing can provide items for those who may need them.” However, she added that space in the hall was a concern so she was not ready to begin that aspect yet.

Any of the items provided by Martha’s Closet are at no cost. The program announces opening times and days via Facebook and on the parish website at southdundasanglicans.ca. The closet will be open February 5th between 10 a.m. and Noon.

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