Hope Closet established as a mission
In the small town of Black Oak, across from New Hope Baptist Church, Hope Closet is located on Main Street. The new building is filled with clothes to help others.
The clothes closet is an outreach mission for Jeannie Meurer. She opened the clothes closet in the church but soon outgrew the space. She would have to set the clothes out and then pack them at the end of the day. She decided to purchase a building giving Hope Closet a home of its own.
Hope Closet is open from noon until 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Meurer said her husband James helps, along with many others.
"I could not do this by myself," Meurer said. "I have had a lot of support and help."
Providing clothes to help families is something Meurer wanted to do.
"I grew up in the area and I was the oldest of nine children," Meurer said. "I know what a struggle it is to provide school clothes for a large family. I have been blessed and I wanted to give back."
The idea may have come from Meurer, but she said she has had a lot of help and many people have donated clothes.
They accept clothes for children and adults but are in need of baby clothes.
If it is not raining people are welcome to leave their sacks or boxes of clothes on the porch if she is not open. Meurer checks several times a week to see if there are clothes to be taken inside.
Anyone who has a need for clothes is welcome to stop by on Wednesday afternoons. All they ask is a name and how many family members are in the home.
"This is a ministry of our church," Meurer said. "One time I cleaned out my closets and had a lot of clothes. I decided to have a 'free' yard sale at the park. Several ladies from our church decided to join me and it was such a good experience I decided we needed a clothes closet so we could help others."
Meurer and her brother owned a flea market for many years. She is taking a break right now and her brother is running the flea market. She is enjoying caring for and spoiling her three week old great-granddaughter.
"We have a large family and I am very proud of them," Mrs. Meurer said. "I have a lot of help with the Hope Closet and when my great-granddaughter gets a little older and the weather gets better I will just take her with me."
Meurer said she appreciates everyone who gives to the Hope Closet. Anyone from the area who has a need is encouraged to stop by on Wednesday afternoons and select clothes they need. There is no charge.
Mrs. Meurer would like to add prom dresses to the Hope Closet to be loaned out to girls who may not have the means to purchase a formal. If anyone has prom dresses to donate, they could be part of the Hope Closet ministry.
"Our church has been blessed and is growing," Meurer said. "It is a blessing to see people coming into the church family."
The pastor of New Hope is Heath Hawkins.