Pat Williams is a local angel. Her non-profit organization, Angel’s Closet, supplies Junior High and High School students with free, new and trendy clothes. The donated clothes are nicely and neatly displayed in three boutique stores located at Redlands East Valley High School. Her organization provides free stylish outfits to students who struggle with financial burdens at home.
Last Wednesday and Thursday, the organization hosted their 8th annual Tea Party to raise money for the new school year. The fundraiser was in Martha Green’s Eating Room from 4-6 p.m. Entertainment was provided by harpist Susan Sparks Irving, who was an alumni and music major from the University of Redlands. The guest speaker, Jen Yaghoubian is an academic case counselor for the Redlands Unified school district. She emphasized the great impact that this closet has on her students.
“Students come into the closet unsure and shy, but leave with new clothes and a new sense of self confidence,” Yaghoubian said.
Yaghoubian works with underprivileged children who come from the foster care system, unpredictable familial situations, or live in single parent households. Some of the children she works with feel left out because they do not have new or clean clothes to wear to school. Angel’s Closet understands the impact clothing has on an adolescent’s confidence, so they strive to increase self esteem by providing new clothing.
Last year, Angel’s Closet served over 475 students and donated over 2,000 pairs of jeans and shirts to students in the local Redlands community. The organization was also able to sponsor high school seniors to participate in many senior year festivities. Irving, the harpist, recounted how they provided students with caps and gowns, yearbooks, prom tickets, prom dresses, corsages, boutonnieres, grad night tickets, and senior pictures.
It’s more than just clothes. They get to be part of what is the norm–the young kids can get a normal high school experience,” said Nadine Saldana, a sponsor of this organization.
Angel’s closet has a special boutique that young men and women can shop for new formal attire. These young adolescents get the chance to dress fancy for important high school dances such as homecoming and prom. They provide not only the dresses and tuxedos, but also with the shopping experience of choosing the perfect fit, style and color. The young boys receive a fitted tuxedo and a nice pair of dress shoes, while the young girls shop for a beautiful dress, shoes, and jewelry. They both can experience the excitement of prom without having to worry about paying for their dream night.
Angel’s Closet is transformative for those who receive clothes and for the volunteers. The volunteers and sponsors of Angel’s Closet are truly angels. They make many students dreams in the Redlands community become a reality.
To see the Angels in Action, and to learn more about the beautiful vision of Angels closet, Please visit their website at http://www.angels-closet.org/index.html