Cato in Alma donated 14 boxes of unsold new clothing to two area nonprofits on Thursday.
Alma Community Outreach, a local food pantry that also provides necessities to the needy, received six boxes of plus size clothing. Another eight boxes of junior miss clothing went to a Methodist Family Health group home for girls.
Cato’s company-wide policy allows clothes that go unsold in its stores to be packed up and donated to local charity groups, said Cato district manager Denise Bednar. Each store chooses the nonprofit to which it wants to donate, she said.
“It’s nice that we work for a retailer that donates these clothes rather than destroy them,” Bednar said.
Many retailers either sell the items to outlet or discount stores, throw them away or even have them burned, Bednar said.
All of the donated clothing was unused, said Tisha Hargis, Alma Cato store manager. The new clothes will be distributed to adults and teens in need through the two nonprofit organizations, Hargis said.
Methodist Family Health provides support to children and families across Arkansas via therapeutic group homes, a behavioral hospital, residential treatment centers, emergency shelter, day treatment programs and counseling clinics.
Therapeutic group homes offer emotional and behavioral treatment to children ages 12 to 18 within a family-like setting. The donated clothes from Cato will go to a girls’ therapeutic group home in Helena.
Sheryl Selby is alternate teaching parent at the Helena group home.
“When I get the clothes my girls go through them, then we send to another group home and they go through them,” Selby wrote in an email. “The girls love going through it because it is new stuff. They are always excited to the max when I come in with the boxes.”
Alma Community Outreach is a faith-based program in Alma supported by 17 area churches. The outreach provides food boxes to needy residents from the eastern side of Crawford County every two weeks and serves about 1,500 families every month.
In addition to food, the outreach center also offers clothing and necessities for those in need.