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About the FIT Closet

About the USD 383 FIT Closet

DONATION BINS ARE OPEN

You can bring your donations to the Keith Noll Maintenance Center at 2031 Casement Road from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

All donations must follow the accepted donation list criteria and must fit our avatar (a child ages PreK to 18). Do NOT bring clothing that a student those ages wouldn’t be proud and excited to wear to school. Toys, stuffed animals, home decor, kitchen items, mattresses, etc. are NOT accepted at the FIT Closet – please bring those items to other donation organizations or thrift stores. 


 

Our Story

The FIT Closet is a program of the Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 school district. The FIT Closet began as a service to students from Pre-K through high school who were experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity (Families In Transition = FIT).

As of December 20, 2023 - 126 students had self-identified as experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity (FIT) for the 23/24 school year.

The FIT Closet helps the school district meet the needs of qualified students by providing necessary school supplies, clothing, shoes, coats, and other essentials, so these students can attend class and integrate successfully.

The Kansas Department of Education uses the following living arrangements/conditions to determine if someone is experiencing homelessness/housing insecurity:

  • doubled up (living with another family)

  • shelter or transitional housing

  • “unsheltered” (cars, parks, campgrounds, temporary trailer, or abandoned buildings)

  • hotels/motels

The USD 383 FIT Closet is a 100% community-supported project. College Avenue United Methodist Church donates the building in which the FIT Closet is housed. We are staffed by one part-time/paid facilitator and an amazing team of 80+ volunteers (35 of whom work a regular, weekly shift). Caring individuals, churches, businesses and organizations in the community all donate supplies. Without this “honor roll” of supportive, caring individuals and entities, the FIT Closet would not exist!

Because of this community’s generosity, the FIT Closet is able to assist not only students and their families who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, but also students (and their families) who qualify for free or reduced fees. At the end of the first semester of the 23/24 school year, we had 551 families registered with the FIT Closet, representing 1,193 students. So far this school year, we’ve given out 1,113 backpacks filled with every supply on the students’ grade-level lists.

 

Our Mission

The USD 383 FIT Closet assists McKinney-Vento qualified/FIT students enrolled in the USD 383 school district by providing what they need to successfully integrate into school as well as find success in their educational journey.  This assistance comes in the form of (but is not limited to) school supplies and school-appropriate clothing. 

Thanks to the generosity of our community, we’re also able to serve students who qualify for free/reduced fees (and their immediate family - parents and siblings who are not yet school age).

 

How we Operate

The USD 383 FIT Closet operates 100% on donations. Literally everything in the facility was donated to us or purchased with donated monies. Even the building we occupy is donated to us by College Ave. United Methodist Church!

The USD 383 FIT Closet runs on 100% volunteer labor (with the exception of our facilitator, who is employed part-time by the Manhattan-Ogden school district).

Without the generous support of our community and the gift of time our volunteers pour in each week, we would not be able to do our work and serve the families who come to us for assistance.

 

Our Avatar

The FIT Closet “AVATAR” fits with our mission and is the person we keep in mind when sorting donations. Our avatar’s age is between 3 and 18 years of age (think pre-school through senior in high school). We stock our bins, shelves and hangers with only the items our avatar would be excited and proud to wear to school. Please keep our avatar in mind when deciding if we are the best place for your donations.

Contact Us

1609 College Avenue, Manhattan, KS, 66502

785-320-6750

FIT Closet Facilitator – Jenna Booe

Email us!

 

We are currently located at the white house behind College Avenue United Methodist Church at 1609 College Avenue. Starting in November 2024, we will be located at the Lincoln Education Center at 901 Poyntz Avenue. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more details about this transition closer to November!