Inside the Manetto Hill Jewish Center in Plainview, thousands of clothing items are neatly laid out in piles, arranged by size and gender, on 22 different banquet tables, but they won’t be there for long.
“Plainview’s Closet,” a grassroots group started by some mothers in the community has been using the center’s banquet hall this week to distribute clothing to those in need, but will have to vacate the space Wednesday afternoon.
Since Sunday, roughly 40 families have already visited the center, located at 244 Manetto Hill Road, by appointment and left with coats, shoes and other clothes, according to Lisa Fogelson, co-founder of “Plainview’s Closet.” But with many items still left to distribute, the group is no longer requiring appointments.
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, anyone is welcome to walk into the center and take whatever items they need, “no questions asked,” Fogelson said.
“If you feel you are in need, you can come,” she said. “We’re just going on people’s good faith and humanity, that they aren’t going to take what they don’t need or resell it.”
Fogelson, 33, of Plainview, said that through social media, the group collected more than 5,000 items ranging from newborn to teen clothes, and some adult apparel.
After Wednesday afternoon, Fogelson said her group will retain some of the items, storing them at volunteers’ homes, so they can be distributed to local families in need in the future. The rest, including most of the winter coats and shoes, will be handed over to nonprofits that continually work with families in need across Long Island.
“Once your kid grows out of a size, you’re done with it,” said Fogelson, who has a 2-year-old son, Ari. “Everyone likes to feel that their clothing is going to something good.”