Northwestern Press

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY ELSA KERSCHNERPat Fritz, Kim Shimmel and Ann Costalas were working at the Redeemer’s Closet in Slatedale on Oct. 13. PRESS PHOTO BY ELSA KERSCHNERPat Fritz, Kim Shimmel and Ann Costalas were working at the Redeemer’s Closet in Slatedale on Oct. 13.

Redeemer’s Closet invites those in need to open its door

Thursday, October 25, 2018 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

Redeemer’s Closet, inside the former Salem United Methodist Church, Slatedale, provides free clothing and many other items donated for those in need.

Especially in the case of an emergency, such as a fire, the closet is a good place to start replacing destroyed items.

Each person is eligible to receive five shopping bags, but when the necessity is great, more are permitted, said Ann Costalas, clothing coordinator.

Costalas said there are usually four volunteers who help people find what they need or who sort donations.

The closet at the church, 4019 Main St., is open 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month except holidays and it is closed in December, January and February. The next open date is Nov. 10.

In case of an emergency, the Rev. Bill Ritzenthaler of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, Emerald, may be contacted at 610-737-1450.

He will find someone to help open the closet.

Clothing is available for men, women and children. Now winter wear is available such as coats, hats and scarves.

In the spring, summer wear will be available.

The closet used to accept furniture but did not have enough room to store the items.

“We even got a fur coat,” Costalas said.

Items that are left are donated to a group in New Jersey or to the Allentown Rescue Mission or to a woman’s shelter.

Remaining hats and scarves go to the food banks.

The church has closed. A grief ministry will make use of the other side.

On Oct. 13, the volunteers expected few people because of the rainy weather, but when they opened, a line was waiting outside.

“We love helping people,” Costalas said. “We went through a lot today.”

The racks and shelves on which clothing is displayed were all donated. Sometimes they get more shoes than they can display so they are just placed in a tub.

One shelf is filled with stuffed animals.

The closet was originally Pastor Bill’s idea. He said it was something close to his heart.

St. Peter’s, where he is pastor, also has a food ministry with food pantries coming from as far as Nescopeck, Luzerne County, to pick up food, said volunteer Pat Fritz.