A wardrobe on wheels is San Luis Obispo County's long-running clothing supplier for its families in need. The onslaught of the pandemic only expanded how much it could provide for the community.
- Photo Courtesy Of Childrens Resource Network Of The Central Coast
- CLOTHING FOR ALL Oceano's residents can access the Traveling Community Closet at the community center during the third week of every month.
"We were the only direct resource provider that could accommodate all these agencies flipped upside-down due to COVID. All these families still needed resources but advocates couldn't access them because resources dried up," Lisa Ray, founder and CEO of Children's Resource Network of the Central Coast, said.
Ray's organization runs the Traveling Community Closet that supplies donated clothing to children and families around the county. The 12-year-old program with its mobile nature and outreach efforts ensured that 30,000 children of the Central Coast are looked after each year.
From Oct. 26 to 28, the trailer-closet will be available to the city of SLO's families due to a partnership with Community Action Partnership of SLO County (CAPSLO). The trailer will be parked at CAPSLO's Southwood Drive headquarters.
With SLO County's school year in full swing, Ray also ensured that school supplies are available for children. The brand new supplies ranging from backpacks to stationery products came from the resource network's partnership with Sentinel Peak Resources and the Arroyo Grande Walmart.
"We are very good at collecting in-kind donations. We could travel and keep our trailer fully stocked because of this donation ability and having a high inventory," Ray said.
Community members can pitch in with clothes donations by depositing them in drop boxes around Pismo Beach, Nipomo, and Arroyo Grande. Ray said that the items they are currently most in need of are children's clothes sized from 18 months to 12 years.
As SLO County slowly opens up post-pandemic, some of the traveling closet's protocols are also easing up for families.
"We are now allowing families to come back into the trailer to pick out clothes for themselves," Ray said. "[During COVID-19 restrictions], we did it on their behalf." Δ