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Des Moines organization hosts weekly clothing drive to combat inflation

Volunteers and organizers ensure that the Friendship Center's community closet and food pantry is available to those who need it.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Starting on Friday, it's a tax-free weekend in Iowa. But with inflation, parents may need more than a discount to get the basic back-to-school essentials. 

The Friendship Center is one resource in Des Moines that can help ease the pain on your wallet.

Volunteers and organizers work on ensuring the community closet and food pantry is available to those who need it.

Daphne Johnson and her family come to the Friendship Center every Wednesday to volunteer their time and clothes.

"This is all my clothes, right here. And what we do is we fold the clothes," Johnson said.

As a young volunteer, she speaks to the importance of giving back to her community by donating her loved clothes. 

"I kind of feel good to give them away to other people," Johnson said.

Chris Ruter, a long time volunteer and member of their leadership team, says during these times, the Friendship Center wants to be a resource for those in need. 

"Inflation is going pretty crazy this year," Ruter said. "This just kind of helps cut that need down a little bit, kind of close that gap." 

When you come to the community closet, you can take what you like, free of charge. And if you have the means to donate clothes of your own, Ruter says that's what keeps the giving going. 

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"We get plenty of clothing from the community, which is great. They take what they need give back when they no longer have a need for so others can use it," Ruter said.

Later this month, the Friendship Center will be partnering with another local church to host a backpack drive. Last year's drive gave out five hundred backpacks, enabling the Friendship Center to provide a backpack to every student at King Elementary School.

For those who volunteer, the experience is more than rewarding. 

"It's a it's a big blessing in my life to be able to watch it. And just to help with it," Ruter said.

The community closet is open from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and Johnson says she will be there to help out and donate the clothes she once loved so much.

"It's time for other people to have them," Johnson said.

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