Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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July 3, 2014

Clothes closet gives men leaving prison something to wear

Athens — When a man in the state of Texas leaves prison, he is given four items. Those include a used pair of pants, a used shirt, $50 and a bus ticket.

According to One Man's Treasure Clothes Closet, “When he attends his first meeting with his parole officer, he is given another $50.

An ex-offender who has served all his sentence of imprisonment is somewhat luckier. He receives $100 when he is released, in addition to the clothing and bus ticket.

“With these provisions, the ex-offender is sent out into a world, where he is expected to put his life back together. If he has no family to help him, or a family of limited means, his chance of becoming a productive member of society is not good,” said Annette Jenkins, Executive  Director of One Man's Treasure.

Jenkins was the guest speaker at the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Seven Points Branch networking breakfast on Wednesday.

Jenkins said, “One Man's Treasure Clothes Closet was created to provide clothing to these men – clothing that can give them a head start on the long road to self-sufficiency.  The clothes closet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide a link between a prison's population and faith-based community groups.

Men in Texas prisons, and others in need of clothing, hear about One Man's Treasure, a faith-based group, from prison chaplains, the Texas Association for Ex-Offenders, Alpha, Overcomers, prison ministries, area churches, local transition houses and word-of-mouth.

A man in need of clothing can call or write to One Man's Treasure to request an application. He fills it out, and then mails it to the organization's Rockwall location.

If the client will be relocating to Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, Henderson or Kaufman counties, his application is evaluated, and if it is accepted, volunteers will notify him by mail.

When an ex-offender leaves prison, he calls the toll-free number of One Man's Treasure to give a phone number where he can be reached. He discusses his clothing sizes with a member of the Clothes Closet team, and then his clothing is gathered.

Male volunteers from various areas of Dallas, called shepherds, deliver the clothes to the ex-offender.

Jenkins said that each man receives five shirts, two pairs of pants, one pair of shoes, five pairs of socks and a T-shirt. During the winter months, they will receive a coat, hat and gloves.

In addition to providing clothing to ex-offenders, One Man's Treasure has adopted several transition houses and mentoring organizations. The organization will clothe any man coming to these places, whether he is from prison or off the streets.

One Man's Treasure Clothes Closet has many volunteer opportunities. Volunteers   are needed  to deliver clothing to ex-offenders or to other shepherds. You can donate good, washable, clean men's clothing. No suits, please.  Organize a clothing drive in your neighborhood or group. All clothing donated to One Man's Treasure is given away, never sold. Volunteer at the clothing site in Rockwall, or you can write cards of encouragement.

To make a donation to One Man's Treasure, call 1-888-9826, or visit the website www.onemanstr.org

One Man's Treasure is “Clothing that makes a difference.”

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