Hope on a Rack, a clothes closet ministry of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, recently recieved some updates and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new and improved shop took place last week.

The ministry is under the umbrella of New Hope Family Life Ministries, said Ruby McMullen, a minister at the church.

The church at 1591 Hill St., has included a clothes closet as a part of its ministry to Radcliff since 2008.

The closet underwent a major reorganization and restructuring, McMullen said.

“Clothes closet guidelines were established, an orientation was created for volunteers and volunteers are required to compete an orientation program,” she said.

Two of the leaders have retail experience and another has retail management experience, helping give a retail shopping feel to the closet, she said.

“When you walk in, you feel as if you are walking into a clothing store or specialty shop,” McMullen said, adding there always is a need for food and clothing in Radcliff and that has intensified during COVID-19.

“Prior to COVID, there were people stopping by to either drop clothing off or receive clothing, especially during the fall and winter months,” she said. “However, during the COVID a number of persons requested to grab items from the clothes closet, but due to a pandemic torn economy and the initial COVID restrictions we were forced to close.”

Because there was a need, New Hope pastor the Rev. L. Chris Johnson decided to open the clothes closet to the community, she said.

“Our goal is to provide services to those in need while the winter months are approaching and beyond,” McMullen said.

Special precautions, such as requiring masks and practicing social distancing, have been taken to ensure a safe environment by following Centers for Disease Control guideline, she said.

McMullen said the closet includes all types of shoes including casual, dress and boots. It also has everyday and casual wear, coats, Sunday best apparel and some evening wear. There are items for men, women, children an infants, including accessories such as scarves and hats.

“People typically are looking for jeans, khaki pants, boys, girls and ladies clothing,” she said. “And, now that the winter is approaching, coats, shoes and socks will be in high demand.”

Socks that are donated have to be unworn, she added.

Ministries such as this are important because a person’s basic needs must be met, McMullen said.

“God uses those blessed with much, to share with those in need,” she said. “The Family Life Ministry may can’t do everything, however, we are encouraged to do what we can to meet the needs of others in the Radcliff community.”

There is a room in the clothes closet called Dress for Success.

“We offer business attire for those seeking a job or for those advancing to a more professional job,” she said. “Mock interviews and dress for success workshops are held periodically during the year or as demand dictates.”

Hope on a Rack’s purpose, she said, is to provide slightly worn clothing to those in need in the community.

“Its goal is to collect items and maintain an environment that provides quality clothing to those in need,” she said. “Clothing will be presented in an organized manner, and found to be visually pleasing to all.”

McMullen said she is involved because the heart of a servant is to help those in need.

“We are extremely happy to participate in the Kingdom’s agenda of serving our communities because scripturally it is the right thing to do,” she said, noting Matthew 25:31-46. “If people need something to eat, give them food, if the need is something to drink, quench their thirst, if the need is to open our doors to strangers, then so be it and lastly, where the need is clothes, I am happy to take part in the kingdom’s agenda of serving those in needs.”

The program currently has six volunteers but she said that number is growing. Volunteers have to complete an orientation, be able to serve and have a compassion to do the work needed in the clothes closet, she said.

Donations are accepted on Saturdays between noon and 1 p.m. and by appointment through Dec. 19, until further notice.

To make a donation, email your name and phone number to the church office, office@newhopembc.net, to set up an appointment.

Items also may be picked up from businesses by emailing spiritfilled757@gmail.com or by contacting the church at 270-351-6808.

Hope on a Rack is open 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday through Dec. 19 and a 2021 schedule will be posted in December.

For more information, email spiritfilled757@gmail.com.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.