With a house full of dresses and shoes and the need for those items somewhat dropping, the Copperas Cove Church of Christ clothing closet, Cove Little House, is about to start sending apparel to third-world countries.

The church would rather give it away than have someone pay for it at a thrift store.

“Right now we’re just giving out winter clothing, and they want summer clothing,” volunteer John Stevens said, also explaining that a Dallas group will start swinging by the house on occasion to pick up summer clothing donations to ship internationally.

Cove Little House also donates to Goodwill, Stevens said. Cove Little House organization gives away about 1,000 pounds of clothes a week to “customers.”

Compared to its beginnings 20 years ago inside a small closet at the church, the organization has seen tremendous growth.

The ministry moved into its current house around 2005, said Linda Smith, a volunteer working Tuesday. Hurricane Katrina hit about the time and rooms just started filling up after the ministry expanded to the house.

“(The church) fixed this room where the toys are, for the children’s church, and we kind of moved into the garage and we’ve just kept growing.” Smith said.

There’s now a designated adult room, toy room, children’s room and hanger room, not to mention the storage section.

The ministry has not only grown in size, it continues to grow in service, helping both its customers and those who work there, volunteers said.

Joyce Cockrell, who has been involved with the ministry for eight or nine years, said not only has she been able to help in ways very personal to her, but the ministry also helped her gain peace and self-confidence.

“I came from an abusive family situation and I didn’t have a mother or anything, and I had people in the church who took me under their wing ... I know what (helping others) can do.” Cockrell said, explaining that helping people helped her gain self-confidence and become less of an “angry child.”

Volunteer Melissa Hele said she also has grown while being involved in the ministry because she gets to see and help people when they are intimately in need.

“You don’t see that side of people; I never saw that side of people really until I came here,” she said.

Hele can rattle off several examples where she was able to help members of her community in ways special to them. Just this past year, she said, a woman was looking for a wedding dress to get married in because she couldn’t afford to buy one. Cove Little House had a wedding dress in the back for her.

“She was ecstatic,” Hele said.

The ministry provides emergency food, clothing and, at times, washers and dryers.

“If there’s a need and we don’t have it, we’ll do everything we can to get that need met. It’s a blessing for us, too,” Cockrell said.

Cove Little House is open from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays at the corner of Fifth Street and Avenue D.

Call the church at 254-547-3509.

cgriffin@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7559

Contact Courtney Griffin at cgriffin@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7559

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