Clothing drive at Au Gres church set for Aug. 17
Au GRES — The St. Paul Lutheran Church in Au Gres will be holding its fifth annual clothing drive Aug. 17, which is open to anyone in need of clothes.
According to Rick Gehringer, who organizes the clothing drive with his wife Jill, the church will be filled with gently used and new pieces of clothing for men, women and children — from mittens and shoes to coats, shirts and pants — available for people to take for free
“There’s no limit on how much they can take,” Gehringer said. “We just say, ‘Take whatever you need.’ It’s up to everybody to just make a decision on what they need.”
He said the bulk of the clothes came from Trinity Lutheran Church in Midland, which holds a large rummage sale in July. The St. Paul Lutheran Church receives the leftover clothes from the sale, and coupled with donations from the community and from businesses such as Wal-Mart in Tawas and Bay City, Gehringer said they frequently have more than enough clothes for attendees.
Last year’s clothing drive saw about 255 people show up, and Gehringer said in total around 882 people have come in and taken approximately 1,600 pounds of clothing over the past four years.
“We’ve had people from Oscoda, Tawas, Bay City, just all over,” he said. “Turner, Twining, Omer, and obviously Au Gres.”
The church will be accepting additional clothing donations on Aug. 15 and 16, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Gehringer said. Whatever is left over from the clothing drive is donated to thrift stores or other churches for their own clothing drives.
The clothing drive is first-come, first-serve, he said, and will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. as well. The clothes will be found throughout the church building on racks and tables, Gehringer said.
“We hand them a huge bag, they fill it up,” he said. “If they want another one, they can get another one.”
The St. Paul Lutheran Church is located at 1264 South Tonkey Road, off of US-23.