CLAY COUNTY — The philanthropic arm of Caesars Entertainment, known as Caesars Foundation, and the Harrah’s Kansas City HERO and Philanthropy Team provided a $5,000 grant and volunteered for a couple hours last week at the Clay County Clothes Closet, 3939 N. Cleveland Ave.

Deborah Butler, who served as the closet’s director and now as grant writer and member of the board of directors, said the grant will be used to purchase new children’s clothing items including undergarments, jeans, shirts, coats and shoes for those in need.

The mission of the Clay County Clothes Closet is to “remove barriers to success and restore dignity to underserved Kansas City Northland community families through an empowering clothing resource program.”

Butler said demands on the closet are increasing as the county population grows and becomes more diverse.

At the beginning of this year, the organization contracted with a new executive director trained and experienced in diversity, equity and inclusion, Rebecka Noel.

Along with this, buyers are also growing more sensitive to specific clothing styles desired by diverse populations the program serves, states a release from the organization.

The Clothes Closet also offers special appointments outside regular schedules to accommodate participants with disabilities and victims of domestic violence who require more individualized service.

This is the 63rd year for Clay County Clothes Closet. Referrals come from school districts such as Liberty, Kearney, Excelsior Springs and North Kansas City; and other agencies and organizations like Northland Head Start; Parents and Teachers; and the Red Cross, which may refer families who have lost homes and belongings in a fire.

Around 2,700 individuals are served annually by the Clothes Closet including adults who need a work wardrobe as well as work shoes. All participants receive new undergarments and socks.

Despite the pandemic, volunteers continued to help meet the needs of Northland families. During the pandemic, 600 participants received a voucher to purchase work shoes to meet employers’ footwear requirements, according to the closet.

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