Located in La Salle-Peru High School’s east building there’s a room filled with hundreds of various clothing, hygiene and other essential items.
The space is filled with shoes, LPHS spirit wear, school supplies and the best part about it — it’s all free for students.
The Cavs Closet was formed to give LPHS students an opportunity to get the essential clothing items they may need from swimming suits to prom dresses and everything in between.
Associate Principal for Student Support Services April Eutis noticed the unused space on its campus and began working to fill it with a way to help students.
“It’s for any students that have a need,” Eutis said. “I went to the education foundation six months ago and applied for a grant and got a grant for the clothing racks. I wanted this to be something that’s open for all students. We’re not going to see student’s income levels or anything like that, if they need it, then that’s where they are going to go.”
Through the help of the grant and the donations of faculty and community members, the Cavs Closet more closely resembles a clothing store without price tags than anything else. All of the items available were provided through donation.
Eutis was thrilled with the participation from faculty to provide the items and even received a large donation of items from local clothing store Peaces of Fashion located in downtown La Salle.
“Any student that needs anything it’s now just pretty much telling a teacher or coming to the student services department, and anybody can take them over there,” Eutis said. “It’s not going to be ‘you can only get two pieces,’ it’s unlimited. If you need something then get it.”
Eutis said the school had previously provided extra clothing to students in need but it was located in more of a container and not on display.
Besides clothes the Cavs Closet also has items, such as toilet paper, deodorant, soap, shampoo and many others a student or their family can use.
“If a student needed something it was like, ‘here we have this,’ ” Eutis said. “If the student needed an outfit for an interview an email would go out to staff and somebody would always out of goodwill do something.”
The newly-formed Cavs Closet will take away the all-call for items for certain students and provide a centralized location.
These services are offered to the students free of charge and without question. The program has only been going on for a few weeks but the response it has received has been nothing but positive.
“We want to keep it going and to never have anyone feel slighted or that they shouldn’t go there,” Eutis said. “It’s for anyone because everyone goes through some hard times.”
It will be provided through no funds from the school as it will rely solely on the generosity of the community.
Many of the day-to-day operations of the service will begin to be handled by some of the school’s special education programs when summer is over to help teach various life and educational lessons to those in the programs.
Eutis said the school is accepting donations of items from individuals who want to help out or local businesses.
The closet is doing well on clothes but the other essential items are in need. Businesses that choose to donate may also receive tax-exempt credit for their efforts.
Cavs Coset is available through the summer and it is open every week-day besides Friday while school is not in session.