MORIAH — Rikki LaMarche and Alberta Baker sit amidst piles of clothing, cataloging sizes and conditions and setting them in neat piles.
The two are program participants at Mountain Lake Services, and along with coordinator Sandra Whitford, they handle the new Clothing Warehouse effort.
The program recycles donated clothing and footwear into usable items, which are given free of charge to needy families and individuals.
In the sorting room at the agency’s Moriah Center Day Hab building, LaMarche and Baker keep magnifying glasses handy to check over clothing and read small-print size labels.
“We do lots of clothes,” LaMarche said as she worked through a pile of shirts. “We also cut rags.
“It makes my heart glad to help people.”
The program has a machine that processes the badly worn clothing into rags, which are also put to use.
“Everything that comes in, we use it,” Whitford told the Press-Republican. “Right now, we need clothing for school-age children. We also have winter coats and boots.”
The program began in June 2013 and ramped up, she said.
“We started at one (Mountain Lake Services) house and used their garage. We’d go back and forth. One day, when it was cold, we decided we needed a better place.
“We relocated here the beginning of December.”
Inside the Moriah Day Hab, the program takes up two rooms and a hallway, with coat carousels and racks of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in various sizes.
Whitford said they’ve provided clothing for many needy families and fire victims.
Chesterfield Town Supervisor Gerald Morrow is a supporter of the Clothing Warehouse program.
“It’s a very good program. It’s very needed.”
Mountain Lake Services was honored recently by the Essex County Board of Supervisors for its many programs helping individuals with disabilities, including the Clothing Warehouse.