By Taylor Boyd
The Jesus House recently reopened after a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, and is continuing its mission to serve the community.
The Christian-based organization works to provide clothing and toys to those in need during normal operating hours of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The program is operated entirely off donations, according to Belinda Barnes, who runs the organization.
Since its opening in 2013, The Jesus House has given away more than 187,000 articles of clothing to members of the community, she said.
Typically, between 12-25 people are seen each day at the agency, located on Via Avenue in Stuart, Barnes said, adding that “less than a dozen is being a slow day.”
Her goal is “making sure that everyone is able to get a reasonable amount of everything.”
The Jesus House accepts “what people wear every day,” such as men’s and women’s clothing for all ages and sizes, children’s toys, purses, backpacks, disposable diapers, female sanitary items, and other items. Barnes said that the organization is always in need of bras for women and young girls, men’s jeans, sanitary items, and shoes for all ages.
Barnes said that the agency often saves some items for big events such as Christmas and back to school. This way, “we can make sure that children are able to get things that they need and make them happy,” she said.
The Jesus House is currently full of summer clothes, and Barnes said she is hopeful people will be able to use them before summer ends. The house is expected to switch its focus to coats and other winter wear in the upcoming months, as the weather turns colder, Barnes added.
The Jesus House began seven years ago, organized by Barnes and Van Rowe.
Barnes, who has a history of volunteer work, said she was drawn to the organization because, “when people need help, I like to help them.”
Noting the purpose of the Jesus House is to help those that need it, Barnes the agency is a big help for the community and has grown since it began.
“In the beginning, the only clothes we gave away were those belonging to me, my daughter, and my husband, but now we get donations from second-hand stores and stores that are closing like K-mart,” she said
For information about donations or volunteering, contact Barnes at (276) 692-6993.