Kicking off Curt’s Closet’s first sorting day were (L-R): Denise Williams, Courtney Herron, Christy Patterson, Brenda Rush, Ashley Wilson and Carrie Bentley. / W.C. Mann
CULLMAN – As an ongoing tribute to her late son Curt Wilson, who would “give you the shirt off his back,” Ashley Wilson is preparing to open Curt’s Closet, a charitable boutique where low income families who may have trouble providing for their kids can come to “shop” for clothing and accessories in a place she envisioned from the start as a “location with a store feel, so they can come and pick out their items, just like they would go to Belk and shop, but the items would be free.”
On Friday morning, The Tribune met Wilson at the shop, located in a former church building at 1515 St. Joseph St. in Cullman, where she and several friends were beginning the process of sorting through stacks of boxed donations, to see how things are shaping up.
“It’s coming along well,” said Wilson. “I just got through telling the girls that God’s hand is in this, because it’s been blessed beyond my imagination. Today is our first volunteer work day. We’re sorting clothes, getting them in order of season and size, getting ready to open the doors, hopefully, middle of February or end of February.”
Who’s been helping?
“Oh, goodness,” exclaimed Wilson, “there’s a ton of them! There (have) been awesome, numerous donors (who have) made this possible. There’s absolutely no way I could list them all.”
What will Curt’s Closet offer?
“We’re offering clothing, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and we have tons of other things: purses, scarves, belts–anything that child’s going to need to go to school, or to go to social functions. We have prom dresses. All this is free to anybody that needs it.
“I will also have (referral) material here to send the parents somewhere else when they need, maybe, for divorce, counseling or abuse. I will have all that to give to those families.”
Who can come to Curt’s Closet?
“My goal is to have most of the families referred to Curt’s Closet from schools and churches, and DHR, but we’ll also welcome any family that just walks in. They might have to verify income or hardship, that kind of thing. But my ultimate goal is to have families referred to me from people that see the need every day, like teachers and pastors, and people like that. I’m planning on getting in touch with everyone I can, to let them know that process in the next few weeks.”
There’s a lot of stuff here. Is there anything Curt’s Closet still needs?
“With the clothing, I ask that they’re gently worn or new. But undergarments like socks, underwear, bras; I need new. We don’t have any socks or undergarments, but they have to be new. We won’t be giving out used (underwear) items,” Wilson laughed. “That’s some items I’d really like to have on hand for people that need that.”
What do you want people to know about Curt’s Closet?
“Curt was the most giving, loving child I’ve ever known. He would have given you the shirt off of his back, if he had known you needed it, and this is just my goal: to keep spreading the love and compassion he had for everybody he met. And this is my way of continuing that in God’s name, and making sure my baby’s name is never forgotten, and blessing this beautiful, awesome community that we live in.”
Curt’s Closet will be open at 1515 St. Joseph St., Cullman, on Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month. Donated clothing and accessories may be dropped off at any of the following locations:
- Cullman Cosmetic & Dentistry 311 Sixth Ave. SE, Cullman
- Happy Homes Real Estate 221 Second Ave. SE, Cullman
- Paul Bussman DMD 1625 Main Ave. SW, Cullman
- Willow Bend Mortgage 116 Second St. SE, Cullman
- Quick Tire Sales 1600 AL Hwy. 157, Cullman
- Bubble Gum & Blue Jeans 400 Fifth St. SW, Cullman
- First Baptist Church (Rebekah Mickle) 501 Second Ave. SW, Cullman
- 1st Federal Mortgage 101 First Ave. NE #230, Cullman (Warehouse District, above Flavors Bakery)
- Hampton Inn 6100 AL Hwy. 157, Cullman
- Collectibles & More 6697 Hwy. 31 N, Falkville
- Carlton's 208 Third Ave. SE, Cullman
- Chamber's Florist 10896 US 278, Holly Pond
- J & D Auto Tire Services 1395 AL Hwy. 69 S, Hanceville (Dodge City)
- Nearen Construction 601 4th St. SW, Cullman
- Lynch Logistics 1353 Bolte Road SE, Cullman
- Alpha Nutrition 503 Main Ave. SW, Cullman
- Monograms Plus 103 First Ave. NE, Cullman
- Dr. Nassetta Pediatric Dentistry, LLC 1705 Main Ave. SW, Cullman
- Cullman Internal Medicine (Dr. Melinda Hart) 1890 AL Hwy. 157 #300, Cullman
Curt Wilson died as the result of an automobile crash on May 7, 2017, when the car in which he and his mother were traveling on County Road 222 was struck by another vehicle. The other driver faces multiple charges including reckless murder and DUI, and is scheduled for trial this spring.
For more information on Curt’s Closet, visit www.facebook.com/cw20curtscloset or https://sites.google.com/view/curtscloset.
See also: www.cullmantribune.com/articles/2017/07/13/mom-founds-local-charity-curt-s-closet.
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