Christian group seeks volunteers to build 400 clothing cabinets for needy

CHAMPAIGN — Some folks think they just don't have enough storage space.

But there are low-income kids who don't even have one dresser drawer to call their own.

Empty Tomb, the Champaign Christian service organization, wants to change that by building hundreds of clothing cupboards for these kids.

But this job needs volunteers — lots of them.

Empty Tomb's goal is to build 400 cupboards in one morning on March 2, and the organization is calling for 1,300 volunteers through area Christian churches.

As of last month, only 100 people had registered, says Empty Tomb coordinator Shannon Cook.

No carpentry experience is needed to help. The cupboards will be built from kits, she said.

The organization built cupboads for kids last year, but not nearly as many as it had hoped to complete and the need has grown, Cook said.

"We built 100 last March," she said. "We were hoping to build more, but we didn't have enough participants."

The March 2 work session this year will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, and the location will be announced.

Willing volunteers are asked to contact their churches and also obtain money donations to support their labor for the day.

Empty Tomb will also conduct a sign-up for volunteers from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday holidayat its building at 301 N. Fourth St., C.

Volunteers can choose to do cupboard assembly on the morning of March 2, or they can fabricate or paint parts ahead of time, the organization says.

Help is also needed with other jobs, such as hospitality, prayer, check-in, set-up, clean-up and delivery.

While no skills are needed for most volunteers, Cook said, Empty Tomb is hoping to get 200 people signed up who can handle a small drill to serve as table leaders for teams assembling the cupboards.

"We want one person at each table that will handle the drill," she said.

Cook describes the cupboards as wardrobes without doors, with cubbies on one side for clothing, shoes and book storage and space for hanging clothes on the other side.

Empty Tomb has a waiting list for dressers and gets new requests every day, she said.

Local case workers have told the organization the need for these cupboards this year is great, and one school alone sent requests for cupboards for 22 children, Cook said.

For a child with no storage space for clothes or books, getting a cupboard helps boost a sense of self-worth. A cupboard of a child's own also helps restore order and security in the child's life, the organization says. In addition, empty tomb is having a special sign-up day for the March 2013.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Social Services
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