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Outing Closet picks up slack after Crosslake closing

With the Crosslake Clothes Closet now closed, the Closet in the Narrows Community Church of Outing has picked up some of that business. "Our traffic certainly did increase," Narrows pastor Stanley Mikles said. "A lot of people from over the Cross...

With the Crosslake Clothes Closet now closed, the Closet in the Narrows Community Church of Outing has picked up some of that business.

"Our traffic certainly did increase," Narrows pastor Stanley Mikles said. "A lot of people from over the Crosslake way - and even from Pequot Lakes and all the way down to Crosby - have come. That has helped a lot of people, just by the word getting around. (Crosslake) did bring us some of their inventory that they hadn't gotten rid of."

The Closet, which has been open for a little more than a year, provides clothing for those in need that would be "shelf-worthy" at retail stores, without holes, stains or other damage. The Closet began thanks to community members willing to donate their well-maintained clothing for those who need it.

"We started right in our basement," Mikles said. "I knew there was a need. There are food shelves around ... but there wasn't anything for clothing in our area. We have a lot of poor people (in our area) and there is a great need, so we just started by cleaning our own closets out."

Since the Crosslake Clothes Closet's closing, the Narrows' Closet has seen an increase in traffic of grateful individuals coming from throughout the lakes area.

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"We have had a great response," Mikles said. "A lot of the people coming over from Crosslake were so sad that their Closet closed - both those donating and those receiving. They seemed excited and happy that we were available to them."

While it now serves 20 to 30 individuals per month, the Closet's reach is actually greater, Mikles said, as individuals will come to the store to give to others.

"The community is being served," Mikles said. "There are people who have the need, but they are maybe too proud to come, so other people come for them. We have a few people who come with a list for others, never taking anything for themselves, and one person may be picking up clothes for 10 others, and that is an awesome thing."

The Closet is open from 8 a.m. to noon the second and fourth Saturday of every month. Special arrangements can be made, if necessary, by contacting Mikles.

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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