Couple provides helping hand with clothing giveaway

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T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING – Dozens of people at Riverside Park were able to pick out clothing items and children’s books and toys as part of a community outreach event put together by James and Kimberly Alexander.

Riverside Park is still full of downed tree branches and debris. The entrance to the park is a reminder of what Marshalltown has endured since the Aug. 10 derecho.

But Sunday morning at the park there was hope in the form of a clothing giveaway hosted by Kimberly and James Alexander of Collins, who run Restoration Ministry.

“It’s a community thing,” James said. “Those who have more can bless others. If they can’t make it on their own, they’re really struggling, they’re really trying, I think we need to come alongside and do our best to try and make their burden a lot lighter.”

The main building at Riverside park was packed with clothes of all sizes for men, women and children. There were two tables full of footwear as well. There were also large zucchinis available and an area full of children’s books and toys outside the building.

Throughout the morning, volunteers helped bring bags full of clothes – sorted by size and type – into the building to be set out on tables for anyone who entered.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING – Kimberly and James Alexander put on a community outreach event Sunday at Riverside Park, offering clothing for those in need as a result of the Aug. 10 derecho.

Kimberly said the community support has been helpful. James said the reaction to the giveaway was “overwhelming.”

“We’ve really enjoyed it,” Kimberly said. “A lot of stuff has gone out the door already.”

The couple gets a large number of its clothing donations from two shops in Ames – The Loft and Duckworth, which Kimberly said has been a huge help to their cause – and then sorts them out, bags them up and puts them in a trailer whenever they head to a community outreach project.

The estimate was that more than 100 people stopped into the event after it started at 11 a.m.

After the derecho, many in the community have been in need. Kimberly said the storm was a main reason for setting it up in Marshalltown, and mentioned it might not be the last time they hold an event in the town.

“Being in ministry, it’s not a building to us,” Kimberly said. “It’s being out in out in the community in some way, being able to talk to people and encourage people whatever way we can.”

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Contact Noah Rohfing at 641-753-6611 or nrohlfing@timesrepublican.com.

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