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Seminole, surrounding areas invited to Clothes Closet

Elisabeth Slay
Clara Keawphalouk is the Director of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Higher Education and Adult Education Department and she recently opened the Clothes Closet, which provides clothing and other items to those who need it in the Seminole, surrounding communities community.

After receiving thousands of hangers from Wal-Mart and numerous donations from community members, the Seminole Nation Adult Education department opened its Clothes Closet which seeks to provide free clothing for people in Seminole and surrounding areas.

According to Clara Keawphalouk, Director of the Seminole Nation Higher Education and Adult Education Department, she and her assistant Delois Harjo have been working on the Clothes Closet for over a year.

"The Clothes Closet has got clothes, shoes, baby clothes, belts, suits, jeans, ties and we have some adult diapers too," Keawphalouk said. "It's (purpose) is to provide clothes to the community at no cost."

Kewphalouk explained anyone that needs it is welcome to the Closet and all she asks in return is that they fill out a small three question survey and not try to resale the clothes.

"You don't have to be enrolled in our programs...I'm looking at people that may have lost everything in a fire," Keawphalouk said. "I've got people from (the Department of Human Services) that call me and want to send their clients here."

The Closet, Keawphalouk said, opened January 6 and since then there have been over 80 people who have utilized the program.

Keawphalouk said everything from the Closet comes from donations and those who wish to give anything can do so Monday-Friday at the Seminole Nation High Education office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

However, Keawphalouk said, the office is closed from 12-1 p.m. for lunch, but the hours before and after she is happy accept donations. The office is located at 215 E. Evens Avenue in Seminole.

Keawphalouk explained she thought of the idea for the Clothes Closet after seeing the need for it in the community.

"I saw a need with my students...and I did have a little bitty area for clothes, but when these two offices became available I asked my supervisor," Keawphalouk said.

According to Keawphalouk, this was over a year ago and she's happy to see the Closet up and running.

"It's a needed not just here in Seminole County, (but) every where. I just enjoy that we were able to meet one of (someone's) needs and maybe that need was getting some clothes," Keawphalouk said.

As time goes on, Keawphalouk said she hopes to receive more donations and to see the Closet grow.

"Going forward I need to have more space...and eventually it's going to be one room," Keawphalouk said. "Hopefully I would like to open it up to where we have housewares."

For more information visit the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Facebook page or call (405) 716-6040.