For the past 25 years, the Donald Loomis Memorial Clothing Bank has provided quality clothing and school supplies to both students and adults throughout the Buckley and Carbonado areas.
And, for a shorter time, the nonprofit organization has provided the same program for the Enumclaw community.
Now, for the second time in its quarter-century of service to the Plateau, clothing bank boosters are sponsoring a fundraiser. “Everyone loved it before, so I thought I’d do it again this year,” said founder Sheila Smith.
The fundraiser helps support an effort that began in 1995 as a collaboration between Smith and the White River School District. The effort later evolved into a stand-alone nonprofit honoring Smith’s deceased father.
“We work hard to make sure children have some of their basic needs met,” Smith said. “We want every child to feel confident and prepared for school so their focus can be on learning.”
For much of the clothing bank’s history it operated out of space in the former White River High, a building that was transformed into Glacier Middle School. For the past year and a half, the operation has made its home at the school district’s Wickersham building.
The demand changes every year Smith said, but has decreased in recent years. Where the clothing bank once saw perhaps 650 visitors a year, the number is now in the 450 range.
The Enumclaw operation has its own manager and is lodged in the J.J. Smith building.
The Loomis Clothing Bank receives donations of cash, but largely counts on used clothing provided by the community. Smith said the donated garments are examined closely and anything tattered or soiled is discarded.
Reiterating the goal of keeping students confident and proud, Smith aims to do that with adequate apparel.
Carrying a “Gone Country” theme, the Loomis Clothing Bank will host its fundraiser on Friday, March 27.
The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at Buckley’s Five2Five venue, 525 S. Division St. Tickets are $25 in advance or will be $30 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased through the Eventbrite website or at two local businesses, Buckley Feed and Farm Store or Mike’s Auto.
The fundraiser will feature a catered dinner, a dessert dash, a silent auction, fashion show and live music.