The town of Waldoboro will soon launch a program to provide clothing for community members in need.
According to Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs, Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett and representatives of a similar program in the Boothbay region approached the town with the suggestion for the program.
The existing program in the Boothbay area has been successful and the people behind it want to expand it into a regional effort, according to Briggs.
Brackett said the program was started by residents in Southport to provide families in need with winter jackets. The effort turned into a larger effort with donations of clothing accepted at the Boothbay transfer station and made available at the United Methodist Church in Boothbay Harbor.
Brackett said the Boothbay region group approached him with an idea. “They were looking to open a similar operation in another part of the county,” Brackett said.
Briggs said the Waldoboro program, Neighbor to Neighbor Free Clothes Project, needs volunteers to help make it a reality and ensure its success.
“We are accepting gently used clothing people are willing to donate. This is being set up specifically to let people in the community come in anonymously and take clothing they need,” Briggs said.
Briggs said clothing bins for donations will be available at the Waldoboro Transfer Station, the Nobleboro-Jefferson Transfer Station, and Hannaford Supermarket in Waldoboro. Donors can drop off clean secondhand clothes or new clothes at the bins.
The town manager said the plan is for the bins to be emptied, the donations sorted, and the available clothing brought to a shed recently placed behind the town office.
Briggs said the day after the clothes are sorted, the shed will be open for people to come in and take what they need.
Briggs said she is excited to get the program up and running. The effort has reminded her of an instance a few years ago when she donated winter jackets that no longer fit her sons to the Waldoboro Food Pantry and a few weeks later saw the jackets being worn in town.
“That feeling was so heartwarming. I was proud I was able to help someone out,” Briggs said.
She said Hammond Lumber Co. donated the shed, while a donation from the First National Bank went to purchase the drop-off bins. The bins have been received and will be transported to Lincoln County Recycling in Wiscasset to be painted.
Through a partnership with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, any clothing that is unclaimed after three weeks will be transported to Boothbay Harbor and made available there, while any unclaimed clothing in Boothbay Harbor will be transferred to Waldoboro.
Briggs said she is looking forward to getting the program off the ground.
“If someone walks out of there with a dress suit and gets a job as a result of having a decent suit, that’s great,” Briggs said.