A nonprofit that collects and distributes clothing to youth in need will now roam San Luis Obispo County with its new Children’s Traveling Closet.
The Children’s Resource Network of the Central Coast unveiled the 24-foot trailer Friday at Home Depot in San Luis Obispo, where employees volunteered their time off to paint and prepare it. Home Depot donated $4,200 in supplies as well.
Lisa Ray, who founded the nonprofit in her garage in 2009, hopes children will see the trailer coming and be as excited as they would be if an ice cream truck were rolling up.
“It will be humanitarian help that’s cool for the kids and a program they can be proud to use,” she said.
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The trailer will visit Boys & Girls Clubs, homeless shelters, schools, fields with immigrant workers and anywhere else a need emerges, Ray said.
It will be stocked with items to serve babies and children up to age 12.
The trailer is the product of a varied community effort: It was purchased with $10,000 from several grants; PG&E donated a pickup worth $25,000 to pull it; the Molina Foundation is donating Spanish children’s books; Walmart donated hangers and school supplies; and artist Romeo “Waxo” Simite painted the inside with flowers and storybook characters in a fairy-tale landscape.
And soon, the trailer will not have to pull up to Lisa Ray’s Shell Beach garage to load up clothing. On Aug. 25, more than 50 cadets from the Grizzly Youth Academy will move the hundreds of pounds of clothing and other items Ray has collected to a classroom at Pacific Beach High School.
The San Luis Coastal Unified School District has donated a classroom to the Children’s Resource Network as a base for the nonprofit, which also runs a Teens Closet in South County, among other programs.
The Children’s Traveling Closet will carry out its first outreach 3 p.m. Friday at the Oceano Boys & Girls Club with the volunteer assistance of PG&E employees.