ZANESVILLE — More than 100,000 items are provided annually by the Eastside Community Ministries clothing bank, and current donations have outgrown the facility’s basement and garage. However, it is hoped that a new clothing bank will soon rectify the situation.
Eastside also stocks items with two area churches, First Baptist in the old South Zanesville School and Central Presbyterian in downtown Zanesville.
Executive Director Jamie Trout estimates that between 75 and 100 people visit the clothes bank each week while five volunteers screen, stock and organize donations.
“Our clothing center has more than just clothes. People can find blankets, household items and toys. The only things we don’t accept are TVs and big furniture,” Trout said. “We have so many people who donate good things. We have nice volunteers. We couldn’t do this without their efforts, but we are out of space and need more space.”
A new building, a 40′ x 70′ stilt barn, will be erected on the property opposite the main building on Stillwell Street. The front of the building will house the store, while the back will be used for collection and storage of donated items.
Trout estimates the project will begin between late summer and early fall.
The original plan was to start the project in 2020 at a cost of $150,000 but was delayed due to COVID. Trout said the cost will be more than $350,000 primarily due to the cost of materials.
Trout said the organization raised more than $226,000 as the Straker Foundation provided $100,000 and the Feller Foundation provided an additional $5,000. Numerous anonymous donors have also contributed.
Eastside has also applied for grants through the Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative, the Energy Cooperative, the Nationwide Foundation and the Rogge Foundation.
“We are grateful for the help so far. We’re a nonprofit organization, so we have to find foundation grants, which can make funding a project like this difficult,” she said. “We want to work with local companies on the new building. This structure will help us organize items and store more donations locally.”
Anyone interested in donating can visit Eastside’s website at https://www.eastsideministry.org/.