Buckley’s Donald Loomis Memorial Clothing Bank has made a full circle.
When the clothing bank first opened in 1995, it was located in a building at the Wickersham School of Discovery, just west of state Route 410.
A few years later, the bank moved downtown above the Salon 790 building, and then relocated to Glacier Middle School in the early 2000s, occupying the old high school’s empty auto shop.
But with the White River School District tearing down Glacier for a more modern building in the very near future, the clothing bank moved back to where it started on the Wickersham campus on 250 Main St. last August.
This is special to Sheila Smith, founder and director, because it also means the clothing bank is back on the campus where she went to kindergarten, and near where her father, Loomis, went to elementary school in a building long since torn down.
“It’s a fun thing, all these things coming around,” Smith said.
Smith named the clothing bank after her father not because he had an affinity for clothing or worked with the underprivileged in particular, but because he always taught his children to serve others.
“He was the president of the Eagles in ‘73… he was a volunteer firefighter, so I’d see him go out at Christmastime on the firetruck and give gifts,” Smith recalled. “You just learn from your parents, and my mother was the same way.”
So even though the clothing bank has had to downsize a little in the move (“We had to get rid of purses and belts, ties, things like that when we got here,” she said. “But it feels more quaint, like a little boutique now.”), Smith is still determined to help as many people — especially young students — as possible.
In August 2017, the clothing bank helped 170 students receive back-to-school clothes and supplies. Last August, they helped 140 students.
Smith feels particularly connected to these low-income students because she grew up in a similar household.
“I remember going to school and having a pair of shoes… you’re walking and they’re flipping and you’re like, ‘I need some tape,” she said, adding those kinds of memories stick with you, even into adulthood.
But the clothing bank has items for adults as well, though the adult section is much smaller than the children’s.
The only requirement people need to come in and shop, Smith said, is that they’re in financial need and live inside the White River School District boundaries.
The clothing bank’s hours are Wednesdays from 1 to 3 pm., as well as the first and third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon. The clothing bank is closed on these days if they fall on a school holiday.
To donate used clothes, visit the clothing bank during these hours — and please remember to wash clothes prior to donating them, Smith said.
For more information, head to www.loomisclothingbank.com or call 360-829-6605.