The Ms. Cheap T-shirt drive for the homeless is back.
Yes, now is the perfect chance to do some spring cleaning and donate your extra T-shirts to those experiencing homelessness.
One thing that I have learned over the years is that it is easier to get rid of things that we have too many of, especially if we know that they will help someone else.
And something that most of us have too many of is T-shirts.
So why not go through your closets and drawers and cull your overstocked T-shirt collection and set your extras aside for the Ms. Cheap T-shirt Drive for Room in the Inn to distribute to the homeless this summer? It is so easy.
The drive, which is sponsored by Main Street Media of Tennessee and NewsChannel 5, runs May 17-June 4.
You could even ramp up your efforts and hold your own drive by inviting your office or church or club or Scout troop or neighborhood to join you in collecting shirts. Then you can deliver them to the Room in the Inn campus or one of the drop-off locations. Or if you collect a lot, you could arrange for a pickup.
Here is what is wanted: clean men’s and women’s T-shirts. They can be from schools, vacation destinations, charity events, brands, concerts, races, etc. The only unacceptable shirts are ones that promote alcohol or drugs or anything lewd.
“A clean T-shirt can bring relief to those who are enduring the elements, especially as summer approaches,” said Melanie Barnett, community development director at Room in the Inn.
“We are in need of new or gently used/laundered T-shirts for those in our community. Men’s sizes large to 2X are the most needed,” Barnett said.
Barnett noted that while Room in the Inn’s campus is in Nashville, its reach is much wider as it partners with 70 community organizations and is supported by 200 Middle Tennessee congregations.
“By working closely with our partners, we are able to identify gaps in services and work together to fill in the gaps. Room in the Inn is built on collaboration,” she said.
“The value of our partnerships has become even more clear during this past year. The challenges of homelessness cannot be solved by one agency or program. It takes everyone coming together to address the needs of our community. We are all better together by sharing resources with other agencies who are also serving those who are experiencing homelessness.
“Join us in helping bring relief to those experiencing homelessness in Nashville by contributing to the annual T-shirt drive. Thank you for loving your neighbors.”
Where to donate shirts
Shirt donations can be dropped off at Room in the Inn at 705 Drexel St., Nashville, TN 37203 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, May 17-June 4. Use the call box at the entrance gate, and a staff member will buzz you in and accept your donation. Email email@example.com with questions.
Other drop-off locations that will accept shirts through June 4 include:
• Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays and at services on Sundays;
• Billy’s Corner at 4400 Murphy Road in Sylvan Park will accept shirts daily;
• Belmont United Methodist Church’s Community Center lobby, at 2007 Acklen Ave., between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays and at Sunday services;
• FiftyForward Donelson at 108 Donelson Pike and FiftyForward Knowles/Patricia Hart Building at 174 Rains Ave. will accept shirts between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays;
• The Gordon Jewish Community Center at 801 Percy Warner Blvd. will accept shirts during its regular center hours;
• Otter Creek Church will accept donated shirts at both of its locations, 3534 West End Ave. and 409 Franklin Road, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and at its regular church services.
I am proud to say that in the four years before COVID-19, the Ms. Cheap T-shirt drive for the homeless collected more than 30,000 T-shirts for Room in the Inn to distribute to the homeless men and women during the hot summer months.
Let’s keep this tradition going. It’s the least we can do.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column for Main Street Media. She also appears on Thursdays on “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel 5. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Facebook as Facebook.com/mscheap.