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Hope’s Closet gears up for school’s return
Hope’s Closet benefitting the various programs of Ray of Hope is gearing up for back to school by collecting clothes and other items for school age children.

Summer vacation may be in full swing but Hope’s Closet & Teen Shop is getting for back to school for children in need of clothing, backpacks, school supplies and hygiene products.

That’s the thrift store located at 1030 W. Yosemite Ave. benefitting Ray of Hope Children’s Crises Center.

“As we are in the midst of their ‘Student Success’ (program) backpack and school supply drive, we are also preparing to collect school age clothing for Hope’s Closet,” said Ray of Hope Executive Director Laura Saunders.

She added that the business next to Hafer’s Home Furnishing in Manteca welcomes the public to come by and shop – purchases will help support the local non-profit’s crisis programs such as ‘3 Meals A Day Kids Cupboard Food Pantry’ and Babies in Crisis.

In turn, Hope’s Closet is able to provide clothes to about 1,200 children annually at no charge.

“This shop was designed for our kids who are living in situations where they don’t have access to basic needs such as clothing and shoes socks, etc. We value lifting kids up and making them feel as normal and cared for as we can when they are in crisis,” Saunders said.

She deals with plenty of hardship cases such as families having to uproot and relocate.

“This includes a mother and her children having to move due to domestic violence, sexual assault or other circumstances, leaving them with nothing. We provide a shopping experience (at Hope’s Closet) for the kids, so they can have some control over what they wear and a sense of pride,” Saunders added.

Children are referred to Ray of Hope via San Joaquin County and local agencies such as Child Protective Services, Child Abuse Prevention Council, El Concilio, Second Harvest and school outreach programs.

Hope’s Closet – Saunders describes it as upscale little shop – is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Donations are accepted Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from noon to 2:30 p.m. – each donation will be limited to three bags.

Information is available by calling 209.597.0574 or clicking on to rayofhopesanjoaquincounty or on Instagram for updates.