WOODBURN, Ind. (WANE) — For 15 years, Tonya Thompson has operated Woodburn Community Clothing Bank out of Woodburn, a small city nestled only a few minutes west of the Indiana-Ohio state line.

Initially, Thompson started the clothing bank out of her garage in 2008, but she has been operating it out of a brick-and-mortar location attached to the Dollar General in Woodburn since March.

“At that point in time, I had a day care, and I noticed that little people would come without hats, coats, gloves, whatever,” Thompson said. “And I thought, ‘you know, I’m not doing anything else.'”

However, that location could possibly be short-lived due to the costs involved.

Thompson told WANE 15 she hopes to raise around $10,000, which she said would be enough to allow Woodburn Community Clothing Bank to stay at its current location.

In 2017, Thompson secured her first physical location for Woodburn Community Clothing Bank at Phoenix Manor Senior Apartments, but she had to relocate back to her home in 2020 after COVID-19 made it unsustainable to work out of that location.

After receiving funding from Woodburn Missionary Church, Thompson received enough money to get off the ground and rent out the clothing bank’s current location for a year, but she said the future is uncertain beyond that.

Thompson said she would not have to close the clothing if she did not have a physical location, but her ability to assist the Woodburn community and the organizations she works with would be hindered.

“Instead of it being able to take me a couple days to just pull [clothes] off the racks, it takes us a few weeks,” Thompson said.

In addition to her location in Woodburn, Thompson and her helper, Peggy Goings, also work with organizations such as Healthier Moms & Babies.

Woodburn Community Clothing Bank also sets up temporary locations at Inasmuch Ministry and First Baptist Church in New Haven, Thompson said.

Other than an optional donation box for those who want to give back, Thompson said Woodburn Community Clothing Bank does not revolve around money: she does not buy any clothes that are donated, and community members can take items and clothes free of charge.

Along with clothes, Woodburn Community Clothing Bank offers housewares, toys and small furniture.