GREENSBURG, Ind. – A retired teacher and her husband are continuing their efforts to help children in need by opening up the Kids' Closet Tuesday night.
The Kids' Closet provides free clothing to children about four times a year. The only requirements to access the free items are that children attend Decatur County schools, be in kindergarten through sixth grade and be accompanied by an adult.
"Most of these kids have never gotten to take clothes off of a rack," said Jerry Abplanalp, who runs the Kids' Closet with his wife Sue. "A lot of them have probably never gotten new clothes."
The Kids' Closet is opening at 5 p.m. at 422 East Central Avenue in Greensburg. Sue Abplanalp said seeing the reactions from the kids when they go through and get to "shop" for clothing makes all the work worth it.
"To see kids with decent clothes just puts joy in your heart," Sue said. "I feel like when you get to be our age, I'm 73, that you really want to do something for somebody else. Because people were good to me."
The Abplanalps have been running the Kids' Closet for five years now with the help of volunteers and community donations.
"It's amazing," Jerry said. "A guy came up and gave me a hundred dollar bill. I didn’t even know who he was. So, the community has been very, very responsive.”
Volunteers helped to organize the room where kids will arrive Tuesday evening. Many of these volunteers are other retired teachers who the need among children from their own experience in the classroom. Others simply enjoy making a difference.
“They can go to school and be like all the other kids in school knowing that they look good and they feel good,” said Sandy Moore, a volunteer. “I think that’s the number one thing – they feel good!”
If you’d like updates about future Kids’ Closet openings, you can follow their Facebook page.