Clothing drives in Ellensburg provide warmth during the winter

Courtesy+of+apoyofoodbank.org

Courtesy of apoyofoodbank.org

Milenne Quinonez , Staff Reporter

Winter is fast approaching, and staying warm during freezing temperatures in Ellensburg can be a challenge. 

Allied People Offering Year-Round Outreach (APOYO) and the Clothing Center in Ellensburg are a few of the places students and local residents can visit to either donate or take clothing.

Peggy Beals, manager of the Clothing Center, said “We ran into a problem where some of the college students did not have the proper clothes, because they were [spending] their money on student loans and not buying the essentials.”

The clothing center provides men, women and children of Kittitas County with gently used free clothing. Each person is allowed 10 items once a month of anything that they may need, such as pants, shirts, sweaters, etc.  

“Right now, we are specializing in anything winter, hats, gloves, scarves, coats and anything warm that someone could put on,” Beals said. 

 Students who wish to donate clothing to the center can do so in the Big Blue Northwest Center Box, located in the alley behind the First United Methodist Church in Ellensburg.

“Anyone from CWU or in college around here can come and get clothes for themselves,” Beals said. 

APOYO is another recourse on campus for students in need. APOYO provides a multicultural environment, serving immigrants, low-income communities, houseless people and CWU students. 

Stefanie Wickstrom, executive director of APOYO, said “Basically what we have here is a 24/7 free garage sale.” 

According to Wickstrom, APOYO has clothes and household items outside of the center that anyone can get. As for donations, APOYO does not accept anything that cannot be washed. 

Their distribution days are Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. Saturdays from 1-2 p.m. These are hours where there are volunteer workers who can help students or anyone get food or anything available outside.

“Everybody is welcome, we are not exclusively serving immigrant populations or Latino populations, anybody who comes can get food and clothes,” Wickstrom said. 

APOYO is located at 1320 E 18th Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926, next to CWU Brooklane Village apartments. Central Transit also makes a stop right in front of APOYO. 

Wickstrom said APOYO also provides connections to services that other organizations in the community offer like connecting people with housing, mental health services and education services.

APOYO is currently accepting volunteer hours, and also arranging internships for students. If students are interested, they can swing by during distribution hours and talk with a volunteer. The center is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.