“Americans have a disease of the heart. It is the disease of materialism. Go home and take care of the ones in your own back yard.” Vancouver philanthropist Denise Currie heard these words while working in Mother Teresa’s home located in Calcutta, India. The materialistic, young American woman that strove to change India was instead given a spiritual death and was reborn. From that experience, The Giving Closet in Vancouver Washington was created in 2000.

Why the need? Child poverty in Washington State is at an astounding 18%, and there are over 24,000 homeless children living in Washington State. 43.7% of Washngton State students were eligible for free or fee-reduced school lunches. It is readily apparent that our community needs help.

Located in a warehouse district of Vancouver Washington, the Giving Closet has provided over 77,000 services since it started. Their mission is to meet the basic needs of the community by providing clothing, household goods, food and education to those who truly need it. The Giving closet uses a network across Clark County called Service Point to ensure citizens do not abuse public or private aid.

The Giving Closet has been offering a “Back to School Bash” for the past seven years. Children in need can pick out their own free backpack, shop for clothing, and receive a free haircut and food. The Back To School Bash is August 15th & 16th, 1-5 p.m at 2804 Northeast 65th Avenue 98661

“Giving Hope”, also part of the Giving Closet, helps citizens of all ages obtain their GED and provides cooking classes despite prior criminal records.

For more information about The Giving Closet, visit www.givingclosetgivinghope.org or call them at 360-993-4800.