School Clothing Closet Program

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It’s your first day at school, and you’re wearing the only top you
own: a sweatshirt you found at a thrift shop last year. You don’t have
a coat and your feet have grown at least a half size since last year, so
your toes are squeezed against the front of your tennis shoes. You
have a couple pair of jeans but you’re quickly outgrowing those. And
you don’t even want to think about the fact that you have no
deodorant or shampoo at home and mom says there isn’t any money
in the budget for them this month. You just hope no one at school
For a host of reasons, this scenario plays out every day at schools in
our community. Some children don’t have appropriate clothing and
shoes for the cold Idaho winters. Others don’t have deodorant, soap,
shampoo, or other hygiene products available. Sometimes they go to
school without a binder, pencils or other supplies because their
parents just can’t afford to buy them AND put food on the table that
But for kids who go to schools with a School Closet, these items are
available for them to take without drawing attention to themselves,
and everything is absolutely free, no questions asked.

Clothes, coats, snow boots, shoes, underwear, socks, and
sometimes toiletries and school supplies, are all available
in a discreet area of the school. Some schools allow
students to visit the closets without school staff present,
while others require the student to ask a teacher or
counselor for access.
Some of you may have seen the news story on KXLY/
Spokane a few weeks ago about the School Closet at
Mountain View Alternative High School in Rathdrum. (If
you missed it, go to and search for ‘Mountain
View school closet’). This school has a SLIF (Students
from Low-Income Families) rate of 63%, with many
students being emancipated, homeless, pregnant, or
parenting. The closet is a real blessing to these kids,
providing warm clothing, shoes and toiletries so they can
concentrate on learning instead of worrying about what
to wear, being clean or having the supplies they need.
Cup of Grace has built, helped build, and/or maintained
School Closets in all Spirit Lake schools, Athol
Elementary, and three Rathdrum schools (Betty Kiefer,
John Brown, and Mountain View). We are eager to start
helping the four remaining schools in Rathdrum and are
seeking grants and donations to do so. The only school in
the Lakeland district that does not have a closet of some
kind is Lakeland High School. They have designated an
empty room for their closet and Cup of Grace yearns to
build it for them and stock it full! We would love to start
work immediately, but the needs of these students are so
great, the cost far exceeds our budget.
You can help by donating:
Clothes: new/gently-used athletic pants, jeans,
sweatpants, long-sleeved tee shirts, sweatshirts, coats,
snow boots, shoes, boots, new underwear and socks, and
leggings. We ask that you please launder used clothing
before donating.
Toiletries: shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, soap,
tampons, sanitary pads, etc.
School supplies: binders, pens, pencils, notebook paper.
You can take your donations to any school in the
Lakeland school district (appropriate to the clothing
sizes), or any of the drop-off locations listed in the box at
the top left of this page. You can also make a monetary
donation on our website. Thank you for your support!

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