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Catie’s Closet serves variety of needs at Dr. Crisp

Editor’s Note: This is the second in an eight-part series about Catie’s Closet locations throughout the Nashua School District.

NASHUA – At Dr. Crisp Elementary School, the closet is used every day.

Over the last several years, it has been used for different reasons, sometimes for a small need like a student who spilled milk on his pants and needs to change, rather than having a parent miss work to bring new pants. Or, the closet may serve a bigger need like getting new clothes a child whose clothes are too small or who wears the same clothes to school every day.

“A lot of these kids are not used to having new clothing that fits them. I’m amazed by some of the kids’ reactions. ‘You mean I can keep this? I don’t have to return it?'” said Robin Abodeely, school nurse and a Catie’s Closet “point person.”

She and Grace Tavares, another point person, work to make sure everything is well stocked and accounted for.

“A child that’s happy and comfortable is going to feel better about themselves and be more willing to participate in class,” she said.

Catie’s Closet personnel come at least once per week to bring more clothing and toiletries, sometimes more often for a special order.

The organization does special orders regularly, sometimes to outfit an entire family, or because one of the schools does not have the right pair of jeans in the right size.

“We had a little boy who came in and his shoes were literally held together with duct tape. We didn’t have any of his size in our store,” Abodeely said. “Catie’s Closet came up from Dracut that day with a new pair of shoes.”

With a student body of 430 kids in grades pre-k through five, many of the students have used the closet, sometimes the same kids multiple times.

It’s always steady there, Abodeely said. “Kids grow, their clothing needs change throughout the season.”