Updated: December 06, 2019 07:13 PM
Created: December 06, 2019 06:21 PM
MOREAU - It's called the Kindness Closet, but it's now a whole building to help families in need.
"The need is so, so great," said Jamie Metivier on Friday.
It started about 15 years ago with an empty shelf in Tanglewood Elementary. As Metivier, a reading teacher at the school, began to donate snowpants, hats, and gloves to students in need. It wasn't long before she realized she needed more space.
The school provided a closet adjacent to the cafeteria where kids and families could discreetly pick out what they needed.
Her kindness got the attention of Farmers Insurance, who last year surprised her with a $100,000 grant to build a permanent structure.
It's now up and ready to help families in need, like Jess and Josh McCane and their three kids.
Josh fell and broke his femur which led to the discovery of a rare disease. About to have his third surgery, Josh can't work and the bills are piling up.
The Kindness Closet has been helping them get by.
"I'm tearing up thinking about it," said Jess McCane. "She's given my kids snowpants and jackets and hats and gloves and boots and she gives us toiletries."
The Kindness Closet opens for the first time Saturday at 9 a.m. and will be open one Saturday a month going forward and in an emergency as needed.
Metivier says she's eager to help more families and proud that it's spawned a kindness movement.
"The other piece that truly melts my heart is just how giving people are. So many people have reached out, you know, 'Can I help you shop, can I help you set up?'"
The McCanes say they wouldn't have been able to make ends meet without the Kindness Closet.
"Oh my God, they have been a godsend, hands down," said Josh.
Jess agreed. "We never would've made it through this year without her, without the Kindness Closet. There was just no way."
Metivier said the building is in need of some kindness as the grant didn't include money for a heat source, so they remain hopeful an individual or a company will provide them with appliances to warm the building.
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