Teenagers in Boise, Idaho, have a new “shopping” option thanks to a mother’s charity.
The Closet, run by Kelly McMurry, has helped clothe more than 2,000 teens and children since its doors opened in 2010. But it’s not exactly a typical store: all of the clothing in The Closet is free.
The teens can visit The Closet by private appointment only, and they are referred to McMurry by their guidance counselors, who assess their needs. Most of the shoppers at The Closet have been in the 6th to 12th grade range.
The Closet is stocked solely from gently used clothing donations, and it also has items such as shoes and accessories.
McMurry said she has given the shop a boutique feel, with displays of jewelry, neatly folded stacks of jeans and clothing for young women organized like the colors of the rainbow.
The teens who come in, said McMurry, all have a different reason for being there. “I deal with a lot of brokenness and I’m seeing some kids that come from difficult situations and a number of kids who have never been shopping before.”
McMurry explained that the teens who come into the store are shy at first and don’t know what to expect. She walks around the room with them when they arrive, and lets them shop on their own.
Teens leave, she said, with a big bag of clothes, a smile and a hug.
The idea to clothe teenagers in need first came to McMurry at the Boise First Community Center, where she started out small.
The Closet currently only serves students in Ada County, but McMurry plans to expand and keep giving back to her community. “I don’t see it ending any time soon,” she said.
Parents who want more information or an appointment with The Closet can ask their child’s guidance counselor. Those interested in making a donation can find out more on The Closet’s Facebook page.