Cumberland County Woman Spurs Community to Donate Clothes For Neighbors in Need

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A South Jersey woman is taking matters into her own hands as she fills a need for her community.

Laurel Lake is known as a small community in Cumberland County.

“It’s a very tight-knit community. When somebody needs something, we try to help each other," said Tina Hutchinson, a lifelong resident of Laurel Lake and director of the Laurel Lake Clothes Closet.

"It’s kind of like a family. Families fight, families argue. But when somebody needs something we try and help.” 

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And that’s exactly what Hutchinson is doing.

Families fight, families argue. But when somebody needs something we try and help.

“I put up a post on Facebook — Laurel Lake Happenings — 'Who would be interested in having a local based free clothes closet?' And I’ve had nothing but generosity, and love, and outpouring of support for this,” said Hutchinson.

The community within Commercial Township took to the idea so much so that Hutchinson already has 66 bags and five totes full of donations.

“I thought I’d get 20, 30 bags and help a couple families," said Hutchinson. "I have enough that I can probably help about 75 to 100 people.”

“It’s just a beautiful thing," said Mayor Ronald Sutton, of Commercial Township. "I was born and raised here and I've got to say I think that this is the first person I’ve seen go this far to help the needy.”

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Hutchinson has donations coming to her house almost every day and although it’s a ‘clothes closet’ she will continue to collect whatever people want to give.

“Clothes, blankets, household items, pots, pans, whatever you think a family would need,” said Hutchinson.

Details on how to donate can be found on the Facebook page: Laurel Lake Clothes Closet.

The closet will officially open on Saturday, June 9th. People in need will receive a trash bag that they can fill up with items free of charge.

“That simple clothes, that simple outfit can raise somebody’s self-esteem. There’s no words to describe it, there’s no words," said Hutchinson. "I live in Laurel Lake. I grew up in Laurel Lake. This is my hometown. If I can help one person a day, that’s the highlight of my life.”

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