Buy clothes, do good

By Joyce Duriga | Editor
Sunday, January 3, 2010

Maria Rios regularly visits the St. Joseph Hospital Clothes Closet, 2900 N. Lake Shore Dr., because “it helps my budget.”

Rios works in scheduling at St. Joseph Hospital Resurrection Health Care in Chicago. The Clothes Closet is a perk of working next door. “All I can say is you can’t beat the prices and the merchandise,” Rios said.

The Clothes Closet is a resale clothing and household goods store located on the bottom floor of the Manor Professional Office Building on the St. Joseph Hospital campus.

The store was founded in 1967 by the St. Joseph’s Women’s Board and was located in the old laundry area of the hospital. More than 40 years later it is still going strong.

The store is open to the public and its prices are adjusted based upon ability to pay. When customers cannot afford to pay, they don’t.

“We always say if we know people can’t afford it, we say don’t charge them,” said Sidney Cristol, one of the Clothes Closet lead volunteers.

The store also provides clothing for hospital patients who come in without any.

It’s all a ministry. Free-will donations from purchases benefit the hospital’s charitable and spiritual works and outreach.

Volunteers pray for people too. There is a prayer request box near the checkout along with some free prayer cards and booklets for visitors.

In recent months, the store had a makeover thanks to a grant from Designs with Dignity and volunteer laborers from Amate House.

Volunteers keep the store running and more are needed. The Clothes Closet is always in need of donations of clothes and household items and also offers a donation pick-up service. Hours vary but for January they are open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For information call (773) 665-6379.