Curt’s Closet gearing up for Christmas season

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Local nonprofit Curt’s Closet is seen Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.  (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – There are many families in Cullman who struggle each day to provide everything their children need. The pressure of Christmas can be overwhelming when there just isn’t enough to give your children the new shoes or sweaters they dream of having. Ashley Wilson, founder of Curt’s Closet, has dedicated herself to making sure these families don’t feel forgotten or alone.

The doors of Curt’s Closet opened in March 2018 with a mission to make sure school children of all ages had nice shoes and clothes for school. Wilson wants all kids to walk into school confidently and to feel good about themselves. Her mission is dedicated to the memory of the loving and generous heart of her son Curt, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver in May 2017.

According to Wilson, Curt’s Closet has grown from serving 5-10 children a day in 2018 to now serving 25-30 a day.

“Just this month, we have served 200 children,” she said. “This does not include the organizations we also help serve.”

Victim Services of Cullman, the Cullman County Department of Human Resources and families who are victims of house fires are just a few of the organizations and emergency situations that Curt’s Closet works to support.

“With our growing numbers of children, also our needs grow,” she said. “With the overwhelming support of this amazing community that has embraced my vision for Curt’s Closet, it is the only way we are able to provide for these children.”

To walk into Curt’s Closet, you would think you are in an upscale boutique.

“We strive to ensure that these children know that they are worthy, loved and accepted, that their situation does not define who they are,” Wilson explained.

A few of the greatest needs at Curt’s Closet are tennis shoes, jeans and new underwear.

“These items seem to always be our greatest needs throughout the year,” said Wilson. “Our main focus is 19 years of age and younger, so all sizes are needed. When many think of Curt’s Closet, they think of small children. We see just as many teenagers and college students as we do the younger group.”

Recently, Milo’s Hamburgers held an underwear drive to help Curt’s Closet. From now through Nov. 30, Chick-fil-A in Cullman is having a fundraiser. For each gallon of tea of lemonade purchased, $1 will be donated to Curt’s Closet.

“This (Chick-fil-A) will be a great place to stock up on drinks for Thanksgiving and Iron Bowl parties,” Wilson said.

Also, the Cullman Electric Cooperative is currently having a coat drive. People can take new or gently used coats, all sizes, to the main Cullman Electric Co-Op office on Eva Road or the Co-Op office in Addison.

“I want to thank these businesses and so many more for their continued support,” Wilson said.

Curt’s Closet is currently planning its largest fundraiser for 2020, Clothed in Cullman, which will take place Saturday, May 16, 2020.

“This will be our luncheon and silent auction, with more exciting news to come at a later date,” Wilson smiled. “You do not want to miss this event.”

Christmas will certainly be a busy time for Wilson and the volunteers at Curt’s Closet, but volunteers are needed throughout the year.

“Even if it’s just for one hour a month, we can use your help,” said Wilson.

For more information on volunteering or ways to help, call 256-735-4557 or visit  www.facebook.com/cw20curtscloset or https://sites.google.com/view/curtscloset.

Curt’s Closet is located at 1515 St. Joseph St. NW in Cullman.

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