I am betting you have not heard of the new Together-In-Christ program in Newark called Common Threads or know what they are all about. If you have, then you are most likely one that has already benefited from what they have to offer the local and surrounding communities.
Common Threads was started by Sarah Humphrey and Bethany Comella. Why? Because they saw a need in the community that desperately needed to be addressed. What need is that? The need for kids clothing.
Both Sarah and Bethany work at Park Presbyterian Church in Newark. People would stop in looking for help on many different things where they would know what direction to point them in to get the help they were needed, if the church was not able to provide it. One need kept coming up over and over that they just did not have an answer for: the need for kids clothing. So in chatting about this need between them, they decided to start an organization to be able to help with this.
They have been collecting clothing and things for kids, and have done a few pop-ups to see how big this need is. What they found was the need is huge. At the first pop-up in August 2017, they handed out 100 bags of clothes and at least 30 coats. What they do is set up the clothes for the kids to come pick out what they want and they get it all for free. Yes, you read that correctly. Free.
In finding out that how big the need was, they knew they had to find a permanent spot for Common Threads, which they have just recently done. The new permanent location will be in the basement of Woodlane Community Church in Newark. In order to get the space open and ready to go, they are in need of clothing racks and kids rugs. They are asking that if you wish to donate clothing to hold it until they open their new location; however, if you have clothing racks or clean, colorful kids rugs they would love those now. Once they do get set up there will be a constant need for kids clothing, including new packages of all sizes of underwear and socks. If you have questions and to see more of what this about, you can find them on Facebook under Common Threads Newark.
In order to raise the funds needed to purchase the clothing racks and rugs they need for their new space, they have done two fundraisers with another one to follow. They held a painting party and a Matilda Jane trunk show. Between the two, they were able to raise $200. The next fundraiser will be a vendor event with a basket raffle. Stevie Ribilicous Man Brown food truck will be at this event as long as we can sell the minimum amount of tickets. Tickets are $10 each for one of the following meals — pulled pork or chicken leg quarter with a side of baked beans and salt potatoes; $3 of each ticket will go to Common Threads.
This event will take place on Saturday, April 14 at the Newark Garden Hotel, 125 N. Main St., between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bring clothing donations for extra door prize tickets. There will be two door prizes: one for adults ages 18 and older that bring items to donate will receive tickets for a scratch-off tree and one for kids who want to help. All proceeds from both the event spaces collected and all basket raffle will go to Common Threads after expenses. Go to bit.ly/2IswZZ7 to ask questions and get all the information on the event.
Common Threads is also looking for volunteers to help with sorting clothes and many other tasks. Watch their Facebook page for more information on when and where they will need volunteers to help out.
Unlike the food banks in the different areas, there are no address or financial restrictions. It does not matter your situation, they are there to be sure the kids have the clothes they need. You could take a bag or more there to donate and then fill a bag to take if needed due to needed to go up a size.
When asked what they see for the future of Common Threads, the first thing was to just get the doors open. Then they are hoping to reach all the area kids that need clothes. In looking down the line, they would like to partner with the local agencies that assist kids that get pulled from homes and have nothing but the clothes on their backs, leaving domestic violence situations or even if the schools see a child that is clearly in need they will refer the parent(s) to Common Thread. Another long-term goal is to have sister chapters open in other communities so people won’t have to travel to Newark just to get help. They can go to their local chapter to get what they need.
So be sure to stop out to our next fundraiser event on Saturday, April 14 to do some shopping, eat some great food and to try and win some great baskets. Have questions about Common Threads message, them on their Facebook page.
We thank all those in the community who have already been helping and all of those that plan on helping. We could not do this with all of you.