From pajamas to business attire, a new teen closet for Surry SCAN, Stop Child Abuse Now, was filled with gently used clothes by Girl Scout Laura Belk, who has made it her mission to create the closet to help area teens.
Belk is a member of Girl Scout Troop 764 and for her Gold award project, which she said is the highest project with the scouts, requires at least 65 to 70 hours worth of volunteer work that has to create a sustainable project that will benefit the community.
In March Belk approached Melissa Hiatt, director for SCAN, who lost everything in her teen closet to a fire that destroyed the SCAN building in February. Since all of the clothing in the closet was donated, it could not be replaced with insurance money, Hiatt said.
Belk approached nine area churches for a teen clothing drive. She not only collected all of the clothing, but paid to wash all of it at a laundry mat.
“It was quite expensive, but it needed to be done,” said Belk.
Shasta Brown, co-leader of the troop, said she is happy with Belk for all of her efforts on this project.
“This was a great idea and she’s worked really hard. It’s something that she is passionate about. I’m really proud of her,” said Brown.
Hiatt said Belk’s project will greatly help her agency help area teens.
“We help teens get clothes that they need. We help them sometimes with job skills so that they can get jobs. We teach them to dress appropriately when they go on job interviews and what they need to wear when they go to work. We also help them with what to wear when they go to school or out in the community,” said Hiatt.
Hiatt said most of the time when she puts on clothing drives people are more inclined to help small children, but they don’t know what to do for teenagers.
“When Laura came to me and said wanted to do a clothing closet for children. I told her that if she could do it for teenagers, it would be much better because those are the kids that we have the hardest time finding clothes for,” said Hiatt. “This puts me right back to where we were with our teen clothes. This is a wonderful blessing.”
Hiatt said her staff members will bring kids to the storage unit to try on clothes until the Surry SCAN building is rebuilt. She said the space they are operating in now is one-third of the size of the building they were in before the fire.
“We will continue this though our volunteers and staff. They will continue to replenish the clothes as they go,” said Hiatt.
Sheetz storage donated a storage space to Belk and SCAN. Belk, Walmart and Renfro also donated clothes to Belk’s project.
More donations are need for teen boys. Belk has a limited supply of both pants, shorts and shirts for boys.
To donate clothing, call Surry SCAN at 789-0111.
Contact Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.