Donations Needed: Catie's Closet Tackles Unprecedented Rise Of Kids In Need

Photo: Catie's Closet

DRACUT, Mass. (WBZNewsRadio) - Catie's Closet in Dracut is out with an urgent call for help as the organization says it currently has more than 1,000 children on their "SOS Urgent Response Waitlist" for essential items like clothing, shoes, school supplies and hygiene products.

The organization says it's experiencing "an unprecedented increase of special requests" that have eaten away as it's SOS Urgent Response Program. The organization says the depletion comes as the state of Massachusetts sees a stark increase in child poverty, homelessness, and the arrival of newcomers, including migrants to communities across the state.

"There are over 1,000 children on the SOS Urgent Response Waitlist, a number that is expected to grow significantly due to continued upward pressures of need." Catie's Closet said "The SOS Urgent Response Program is currently at a standstill, unable to fill these orders due to a lack of funding and inventory of key new item categories, including new socks and underwear, and special-sized shoes, coats, and clothing."

The SOS program is designed to help those with immediately needs or who may be experiencing instability with their living condition. Catie's Closet works alongside vetted partners within the community to identify the specific needs of a child, and create a customized package with two weeks of essentials, including clothing. The organization aims to get the package into the hands of whomever needs it within 48 hours, but because of the recent surge of need, the organization isn't able to do so, leaving many local children without basic necessities.

Now, Catie's Closet is looking to raise some $250,000 to reload it's seasonal Urgent Response inventory.

“Never before in Catie’s Closet history have we seen this amount of SOS orders with such a high level of need,” said Mickey Cockrell, CEO and Co-Founder of Catie’s Closet. “We are seeing first-hand the impact of today’s economic situation and how it’s affecting children and families living in our communities. We are turning to our supportive community to help us replenish our SOS Urgent Response Program fund and inventory and allow us to continue helping these children in need.”

Amazon has stepped in to help and has announced a $50,000 commitment to kick-start the fundraising.

“At Amazon, we are committed to giving back wherever possible, especially in the communities in which our employees live and work. When we heard about this urgent need to support the SOS program, we knew we needed to step up,” said Jerome Smith, Amazon’s Head of Community Engagement in New England. “Every child should be able to go to school and feel good about themselves. We hope our commitment will inspire others to help meet this critical need.”

Along with Amazon, Charles River Apparel, Lowell Five Bank and UKG have also donated roughly $40,000.

To help, you can donate online, by selecting the SOS Urgent Response Program in the drop-down list, or mail a check to Catie's Closet, 28 Loon Hill Road, Dracut, MA 01826. To donate clothing, you can simply drop off bags at designated locations.

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