Recognizing the lack of gender equity in public school dress code policies, these young women awarded Catie’s Closet the funds to address these inequities. Catie’s Closet provides up-to-date clothing and toiletries at their free “stores” built within PK-12 schools with poverty rates in excess of 50%. This grant will provide Springfield students immediate, discreet access, and the agency to choose their own items.

Catie’s Closet focuses on assortment and choice to increase the students’ self-esteem and combat the shame of getting “handouts,” removing social stigmas. While providing clothing and necessities, Catie’s Closet also collaborates with a variety of social service agencies to support other children in need.

How it works in schools:

  • Unused school room is converted into a “Catie’s Closet,” a permanent resource for students in need
  • Children are given access to the “Closet” in a discreet manner by trusted faculty members
  • Students can take a change of clothes, toiletries or gather a week’s worth of clothing from the “Closet”
  • The “Closet” is restocked regularly with donated season- and age-appropriate clothing
  • A single school maintains 1,500 units or $20,000 in inventory
  • One closet typically serves 1,000 students and the community