DRACUT — While Massachusetts schools are suspended, Catie’s Closet continues to provide toiletries to students and families in need.
The nonprofit, with distribution centers in Dracut and Boston, is handing out feminine products, soap and shampoo at emergency meal sites for nine schools in Lowell, 16 in Boston and five in Lawrence. This week, Catie’s Closet is expected to deliver 26,000 units of supplies for low-income and homeless students and families, CEO Mickey Cockrell said.
“The most important thing right now that everyone has to do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to be able to wash — so access to soap and shampoo and toiletries is absolutely critical,” Cockrell said.
Since 2010, Catie’s Closet has provided clothes and toiletries to local students. In a discreet manner, students can normally visit their school’s “closet,” and take a change of clothes, toiletries, or a week’s worth of clothing. Schools are restocked with donations on a regular basis.
While schools are closed, Catie’s Closet will provide weekly deliveries to emergency sites for as long as inventory lasts.
Toiletries are available at different Lowell emergency meal sites on a rotating basis. Lowell Public Schools will inform families of where the toiletries are being distributed using the ConnectEd phone system. Community members can also contact the Lowell Public Schools Family Resource Center to find out where toiletries will be passed out on a given day.
The nonprofit’s distribution centers in Dracut and Boston are currently closed to the public, but bins have been placed outside to collect clothing and toiletry donations. The Dracut distribution center is located at 19 School St.
Hope & Comfort, a nonprofit in Needham, recently supplied 56,000 units of toiletries for immediate distribution by Catie’s Closet.
“Together, as high-impact nonprofit organizations we are dedicated to serving students throughout this challenging period of school closures,” Hope & Comfort Executive Director Jesse Mattleman announced in a news release.
Dignity Matters, a Framingham-based nonprofit, donated 9,600 units of menstrual care products.
“At this time of crisis, we are working around the clock together with organizations like Catie’s Closet to manufacture and distribute menstrual care to Boston girls in need,” Dignity Matters Executive Director Kate Sanetra-Butler said in the news release.
Technology Underwrites Greater Good of Cambridge donated $20,000 in Visa gift cards, which families can use to purchase food, prescriptions and supplies.
“We offer our most sincere thanks for our business partners and community partners for their compassion and care during this unprecedented time. It is incredible to be able to join forces and provide impact for the students we serve,” Cockrell said.
For more information or to make a donation, visit catiescloset/covid19.org.