Bernards Non-Profit Collects Clothes for Those in Need

Bernards+Non-Profit+Collects+Clothes+for+Those+in+Need

Charlotte Zaun, Staff Writer

As people are cooped up in their houses due to snow and Covid, cleaning out closets has become a common pastime. After sorting through clothes and determining giveaways, individuals seek the easiest way to get rid of their unwanted items. With large donation bins around town, people take advantage of this convenience. 

Donation bins, such as the yellow Planet Aid boxes, collect tons of clothes every day. Often, people are misconceived into thinking that when donated, these resources are dispersed to directly clothe people. Many are unaware of the process these clothes go through and where they ultimately end up. 

According to PlanetAid.org, “Every day (they) load the bales (of clothing) into trailers for domestic buyers or in shipping containers for overseas customers.” Although the clothes ultimately end up benefiting the environment and poverty, they are not directly distributed to people in need of clothing. 

A local Bernardsville resident, Kathy Lubarsky, wanted to change this. She shared that she is “very bothered by the bins” and doesn’t like the idea that “clothing that is perfectly usable is being sold for weight.” She recognized that people in our area, specifically children, are in need of essential items. Thus, she started Cherubs & Angels. She explained that the Cherubs are the children and the Angels are the adults. Lubarsky described her organization as a way to “provide essential items for children that otherwise their family could not provide for themselves.” 

When asked why she focused on clothing, Lubarsky stated, “Clothing is a very negotiable item for people who don’t have money.” In this way, she recognized that underprivileged families are often forced to choose food over clothing. She also pointed out that there is an “abundance of high-quality clothing in our area.” 

Currently, Lubarsky runs her organization out of a large barn in her yard to store the abundance of donations she receives. The items are sorted by size and gender and distributed to local families in need. 

Lubarsky tells a story of three young siblings who live not far from our high school. After dropping off large bags of clothes at their house, she was overjoyed by their heartwarming reactions. A boy around the age of six stuck his head out the door and caught her gaze while asking, “for me?” Lubarsky excitedly explained that the clothes were for him and his two sisters who stood behind him in the doorway. Their three faces lit up with joy. It was a moment she will never forget. 

That is just one of many heartwarming stories. Lubarsky explains that loves what she does because she gets to witness “the gratitude in people’s hearts.” She indicated that she will host another collection in April for Spring clothing and hopes to ultimately grow her organization to serve more families in need. 

Lubarsky teaches us that a little goes a long way and encourages others to look beyond their stable lives and consider those who need a little extra help. So, BHS, with Spring around the corner, consider sorting through your belongings and donating your unwanted items to a local charity instead of a donation bin.