BRENTWOOD -- Friends of God's Closet in Brentwood are hoping that when people sort through their wardrobe this fall for warm-weather clothes, they might find some gently used items to help those less fortunate this winter.
God's Closet is part of the annual Brentwood Street Feast program hosted each Thanksgiving Day by several local churches, nonprofit organizations and local residents. In addition to food, those attending will benefit from clothes donations that will be available that day.
Since 2010 Street Feast has grown to help feed about 1,000 people each year. The idea is to help as many Brentwood folks in need as possible, said Pastor Bill Rieder of Cornerstone Fellowship. Donating warm clothing, as well as other items, is just part of the package.
"We fill up bags to give people to bring with them as they are leaving for home after Thanksgiving dinner," Rieder said.
God's Closet is located across from Willy's Bagels, one of the major sponsors and volunteers of the program, on Second Street. The donated building gives a place to hang up items in a clothing store fashion, so that people can find sizes they need of gently used items.
"We are looking for everything," Rieder said. "From gently used clothing, coats and blankets to new toiletries and personal items. We also ask that you provide a hanger for all the clothes."
God's Closet will stay open 10 days, beginning on Thanksgiving, to make sure the group hands out all of the items to those who need it and may not be able to come on Thanksgiving, Rieder said.
"We want to make sure that everything is given away. If there is anything left ... the committee will make sure it gets to those in need," he said.
Aside from clothing and blankets, the Street Feast committee is also looking for canned food to donate to those attending the event, as well as food to serve at the event.
The committee is partnering with Freedom High School, Heritage High School and Liberty High School and their special needs programs. Liberty is hosting a coat drive. Freedom is accepting donated blankets and Heritage is doing a canned food and toiletries drive.
"Each year we serve deep-fried turkey, so we are in need of 10- to 12-pound turkeys for the event," he said.
Rieder said that the size of the turkeys is very important because of the manner in which they are cooking the turkeys. They also accept gift cards from local grocery stores and cash so that they can purchase the food they specifically need.
While the turkey cooking is done outside, the actual event takes place inside one of the vacant buildings in the shopping center area across from Willy's Bagels' Second Street location. This year the event is dedicated to the memory of Karen Richardson, who passed away after a battle with cancer earlier this year. Rieder said she and her family, who own Willy's Bagels and Blends, have volunteered for the Brentwood Street Feast since its inception.
Brentwood Street Feast will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Those interested in volunteering to help before and during the event can go to http://brentwoodstreetfeast.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.