By Kathryn Rice

The Ministry Center, 971 South Main Street, Maryville, offers two services to the citizens of Nodaway County.

The more well-known of the two is the food pantry, which provides food to economically disadvantaged Nodaway County citizens. The other is the clothing room, which is open to everyone in the Northwest Missouri area, regardless of income. The clothing room has clothing for all ages, plus housewares, bedding, books, furniture, games, dishes, pots and pans and other kitchen items.

Taking the place of longtime manager Juanita English, Debra Crumb, Maryville, has stepped into the volunteer position. She started volunteering with the clothing room three years ago as a way to be part of and help out the community. Her friendship with English led her to take on the greater responsibility.

Volunteers sort through clothing and other donations on a regular basis, twice weekly. Crumb said that she often comes in to organize.

When she’s not busy with the clothing room, “my big thing is family, spending time with my kids and grandkids, and visiting my mother in St. Joseph,” Crumb said, who along with her husband, Herman, has lived in Maryville for 22 years.

Once a month, volunteers sort through what is in the room to remove unwanted items and gain space for new donations. The staff also strives to have seasonal and holiday items available.

Crumb stated at the current time, the clothing room is in need of infant and small size children’s clothing. After prom season, she is also requesting dresses and shoes. Some high heels are currently available.

Crumb is hoping there will be a nice selection of prom dresses for the 2019 prom season. By requesting the items be donated now, she’s hoping  the unwanted dresses can be recycled.

“We accept donations of anything you need for your home and body,” she said. “Clothing, dishes, cups, pans, silverware, sheets, bedspreads. If items are stained or dirty, we can’t use them. We try to save what we can.

“This helps our community. That’s why we’re here and that’s a big thing for me,” Crumb said.

“We have fire victims come in and the needy,” Volunteer Pam Myers said. “We’ve provided a lot of blankets this year.”

The group is always in need of volunteers.

“It’s very heartwarming,” Myers said. “We’re like a little family here. If you need something, you call.”

“Instead of taking donations to where it goes outside of the community, bring it to the clothing room at The Ministry Center where it helps our community,” Volunteer Sandra Stiens said.

The facility maintains a card file to determine the number of people assisted. Each family must register upon their first visit and is allowed up to two visits a month.

The clothing room hours are 2 to 4 pm, Tuesdays, and 6 to 8 pm, Thursdays.