By Michelle Kolobutin
Clothing Assistance Mission, as it was originally called, was founded by Mary Sorenson, Dr. Brian Scott, and David Andrews in 2006. The charity was established for the purpose of alleviating poverty through the operation of a clothing bank.
In 2013 CAM took on a new name, Community Clothing Assistance. Since 2006, it has evolved from a clothing depot to a community hub that hosts eight programs. One of these is the Undercover Project, which runs each Christmas season, and provides seven pair of new underwear and socks for children (4-14 years old) in families experiencing financial hardship or crisis. CCA’s goal to ensure “No child goes without good, clean socks and underwear.”
You may be pleasantly surprised driving down May Street to see a mural on the side of the CCA wall that reads “Grow with us.” Designed with the help of boy Roland, it was painted by seniors involved in the Words of Wisdom Program with help from youth and some children. “Grow with us reflects various aspects of CCA; not only that we have clothes as you grow from child to adult, but you can also grow with us through increasing skills and confidence through participating in one of our programs,” says Ewa Gulbinowicz, executive director of CCA. “Over 10 years, we have grown a lot ourselves. Participating in the creation of the mural increases an individual’s sense of belonging, and community pride.”
CCA is proud to be celebrating 10 years of service to the Thunder Bay community and invites everyone down to explore the store to meet the staff and check out the new mural yourself. The organization is located at 404 North May Street. You can check out more about donations, programs, and volunteering opportunities on their Facebook page.
- Undercover Program has supplied over 8000 children ages 4-14 with new socks and underwear.
- The Affordable Clothing program serves over 1000 customers a month, or 120,000 customers over ten years.
- The Homeless program has served over 600 walk-in requests with clothing and sanitary hampers.
- Over 140 seniors accessed the Seniors for Seniors Program, receiving bedding, blankets, towels, set of clothing, and new socks with a cosmetic pack.
- Over 10 years, CCA has had about 110 volunteers, including many who have remained with CCA since they opened in 2006.