Cornerstone Foundation Digital Community Newsletter Cornerstone Newsletter Fall 2017 - Page 5

Christine Filanowicz shares her story:

My first time coming into the Clothing Bank was in 2011.

I learned about the Clothing Bank through someone I met at my gym. I would bring in donations from time to time and one day asked if they would like help. I asked if they would like me to come back to help next week and it became a regular routine. I started with one day to two days, then three days at first. A few years went by when Ed Kuene, the director at the time, took ill. He couldn’t work at the Clothing Bank anymore. So now we didn’t have a permanent Director and no one was coming forward to take the job. I went to Helen and told her I would to take it on. She accepted my offer and here I am, still volunteering for The Cornerstone Foundation seven years later, with 3 ½ of them as Clothing Bank Etc. Director, still a volunteer.

I added the Etc. to our title after I took over. We are more than clothes. We have a wonderful Housewares & Linens department now. Our book and toy department has been increased in size. We do various special events. For Easter we raffle off several filled baskets for ages 2 to 10. April a two day Prom dress & accessories giveaway, In August a two day Backpack and School Supply giveaway. This Halloween, for the first time, we are hosting a Costume contest and Party. And in Late November we open “The Christmas Corner”, a Christmas wonderland with some Hanukah as well.

I am able to do all of these extra things at The Clothing Bank Etc. because I have a great team of volunteers to work with. We are a Team! Everyone’s ideas matter. We are all about helping people! Everything we give out from The Clothing Bank Etc. is free to them. A lot of times people tell me they donate to our Clothing Bank Etc. because we don’t charge money to our clients for anything they donate. They just want our clients who need them to have them.

My husband is the webmaster for our web page. This is his way of supporting me and is proud of all I do for our clients. I also play part time photographer. I provide him with many of the pictures he uses on the web pages and do some of the write ups to go with from the various events I put on and that I attend.

.

I don’t live in Vernon/Rockville and did not know anything about the town or the people living in this town. I have since learned how this community steps up when asked to help. I know because we ourselves have put the word out for help and have received a great response. Because of that, it helped make our special events successful.

I get tickled pink when I can help the shelter clients furnish their new apartments. What a thrill. They are excited to be moving out of the shelter into their own apartment to begin a new chapter in their lives. I look at it as a huge mile stone for them to be able to do that. They are so excited and I am as well right there with them. Anything I have that they need such as furniture, housewares, linens, etc. I am so excited to give them. A lot of the time I will come up with things they never even thought of needing, and they get excited and say “I didn’t think of that, yes, I do need that”.

We help Families by providing them with things at no cost. This helps lessen their financial burden. We provide various things through our special events and through the Clothing Bank Etc. that maybe they could not afford to buy otherwise. I have found many of our clients are very appreciative and tell me so quite often. Some clients feel that words are not enough and say it with tears and a hug.

I find Working at the Clothing Bank Etc. to be very rewarding.

Clothing Bank Etc. Director

Christine Filanowicz

Cornerstone

Spotlight