CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Princeton Closet started 15 years ago, created by a school teacher who saw the need not only for a clothes closet but a food pantry too.
In the years since it has expanded and become a non-profit.
This year though, there are even more families struggling and using the closet.
“Kids cannot learn if they’re cold, if they’re hungry or if they’re without school supplies,” Princeton Closet Founder Susan Wyder explained. “So, we take care of those things.”
From a tiny closet in a bedroom to multiple rooms, Princeton Closet has grown over the past 15 years thanks to Wyder.
Sheis a retired school teacher in the Princeton City School District and a member of the school board.
Wyder saw the need for things like clothes, food, diapers, and school supplies first hand.
Even though she isn’t in the classroom every day, she still helps the students and their families in need thanks to support from the school district and a few dedicated volunteers.
“The need is real, the need is great, the need is deep,” Princeton School Superintendent Tom Burton said. “And we’re not unlike many other school districts around us. But the thing that I think separates us, which we’re so blessed to have, is the closet.”
With colder weather just around the corner, the greatest need right now at the Princeton Closet is for more winter coats.
There are more than 3,000 kids in the district that will need a coat this winter.
When asked how COVID-19 has changed its operation, Wyder said:
“It’s increased the needs exponentially. We were 70% [poverty] before the pandemic and then all of these people losing jobs. The need has just grown.”