On Jan 21, the last day of SALT’s clothing drive – the day Salem teens would pick out “new” outfits from the heaps of donations– everything
seemed to be going perfectly. But there was a problem, if you can call it that: lots of clothes with little space to display them.
After four cars packed full of clothing arrived at Stich’s, Salem’s Christian hangout for teens, and volunteers hauled in several loads, they realized two tables weren’t nearly enough to hold the bounty. SALT’s Hannah Dawley, Benjamin Funkhouser and Katherine Jamerson and Stitch’s staff did some quick thinking and a lot of improvising.
By the time they were done, clothes covered the two tables; sat in open boxes underneath; and overflowed onto three smaller tables, one skate ramp and several chairs.
“We had a lot of clothes,” Funkhouser said. “It’s really cool that Corban contributed so much.”
Just as the “FREE CLOTHES. Love, Corban” signs were being added and the boxes were being removed, Stitch’s kids were beginning to enter.
“What’s this?” one of the teens exclaimed as the piles of clothes distracted him from the freshly brewed coffee, usually an impossible task.
As the SALT team was leaving, some of the girls were already beginning to go through the clothing.
That night, other SALT members returned from Stitch’s with stories about the clothing drive’s success. Heidi Herzog said some of the guys tried on donated skirts as a joke, but everyone seriously enjoyed getting free clothes.
One week later, yet another SALT team returned to Stitch’s. This time Alissa Hilley, Lucas Pitman and Jamerson gathered the remaining clothes and loaded them easily into two cars. More than half of the clothing donated went to the teens of Salem.
“I saw a young couple with a baby come in,” Pauly Gomez, Stitch’s leader, said. “They spent two hours going through the clothing and left with two huge bags full. If anything, you helped that family.”