NORTH CANTON Many local organizations and companies hold service days in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dedicated individuals donate their time during the holiday do provide a service to those in need in the community.
One of the many service day activities held in North Canton this year was a professional clothing drive hosted by the North Canton Jaycees and held at the North Canton Public Library (NCPL). Starting at 2 p.m. and going on into the evening on Jan. 15, a group of volunteers were collecting clothing from residents. Volunteers sorted the items into men’s and women’s clothing and packed them up for delivery to three local shelters.
Volunteers from the Jaycees helped pack the piles of professional clothing for the YWCA in Canton, the Refuge of Hope in Canton and the SAM (Serving Area Military) of Massillon. North Canton Jaycees President Stephanie Sweany said this is the second year she has encouraged people to donate professional clothing.
"We collected 50 boxes and 50 bags of professional clothing last year," Sweany said. "The shelters are excited about getting this type of clothing that they can distribute to those who may be getting ready to go on job interviews or getting ready to start a new job. The people in the shelters need this type of clothing so much. Plus, the people donating really like to donate this specific type of clothing because they sometimes invest a lot of money in their professional clothing and they like to see it continue to be used."
There was steady flow of people carrying in boxes and bags or had their arms full of clothing on hangers. All of it was in like new condition with many of the items still sporting price tags on because the people who purchased the items never had the chance to wear the clothes. Some people brought in clothes they purchased new for the donation.
Items such as men and women suits, ties, belts, leather shoes, purses, coats and much more were stacking up on the tables ready to be sorted. People, many who were retired from a professional career, came from all over the county. Some said they saw the event on a Facebook post.
Tim and Jackie Hisrich saw the drive promoted on Facebook and came from Canton to donate professional styled clothing.
"I love to participate in service projects like this one," Jackie said. "I’m retired from Malone University and wanted to see my professional clothing go to others just entering the workforce."
Joan Glen saw the event on Facebook and drove from Massillon to donate her aunt’s professional clothing.
"My aunt recently passed away and I’ve been cleaning out her closet and found a lot of name brand clothes such as Talbot’s, Cold Water Creek and Chico," Glen said.
Sweany said they were expecting a lot of people to stop by and donate after 5 p.m. The group was planning to stay until 7:30 p.m. and beyond to get everything sorted and packed. She said Chore Chasers in North Canton was scheduled to donate drivers and vans to pick up the many boxes and bags of clothing and deliver to the three shelters.
"The professional wear makes such a difference in the lives of those in the shelters. It was a successful drive last year and we’re expecting it to be even more successful this year," Sweany said.