A group of children gathered at the Academy Street Park, 601 S. Academy St., Mooresville recently, but it wasn’t to play. It was to show and share kindness with the community.
A volunteer group of local families, called Little Helpers, has created the Mooresville Kindness Closet with the intent of helping people who are in need by providing some basic necessities.
Little Helpers of Mooresville was founded four years ago by Anne Mautner. Little Helpers was started in 2010 in Memphis, Mautner noted, where she moved from five years ago, by two friends of hers. She is the local chapter founder and coordinator.
On Nov. 7, the Little Helpers, along with Mayor Miles Atkins and other local officials gathered to officially open the closet. The children took this opportunity to fully stock it so that anyone who has a need can come can take what they need anonymously.
During the ceremony, Mautner thanked the children and families for all of the items they brought to help others in the community.
“You are making a difference in Mooresville,” Mautner said.
Thanks also goes out to others who helped make the Mooresville Kindness Closet a success including many Little Helpers who raised the funds to build it by selling lemonade, a Little Helpers family who took this idea of a kindness closet and donated their time and effort to get it built, and once built, Brian Tierney and Darren Schmolke with Schmolke Construction donated the paint for the project and members of Fire Station #5 on Balmy Lane in Mooresville donated their time to erect the structure at its Academy Street Park location.
Maunter noted three volunteers, Caryn Brown, Lori Eason and Ashley Tomlinson who will help in sustaining the donations in the closet.
Little Helpers is also looking to the community, both groups and individuals, for their help in keeping the closet stocked.
“This community is so generous,” Mautner said. “This will be a way for the community to easily help others in need directly and spread a little more kindness in Mooresville.”
Mayor Atkins thanked the Little Helpers and their parents for “what you continue to do. You continue to teach the kids about giving back.”
“I think it’s unique for Mooresville to have a Kindness Closet. It’s very innovative, providing access to the necessities that we take for granted. (They) can access these items in a safe environment,” Atkins shared.
Those who would like to donate items may take them to the park and place them directly in the closet. All donated items must be new, unused and unopened; however, they ask that no food be donated.
Items that can be included are hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues, toilet paper, bars of soap, first aid items, kids mouthwash (with no alcohol), dental floss, lotion, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, chapstick, baby needs such as diapers and wipes, baby shampoo, deodorant, Q-tips, paper towels, paper plates, feminine hygiene needs, make-up, schools supplies including pencils, glue sticks, notebooks and paper, and brushes and combs.
If civic, school or church groups would like to learn more about the Kindness Closet, email Mooresvillekindnesscloset@gmail.com or like Mooresville Kindness Closet on Facebook.