Crisis Closet

Elaine Martin, Carolyn Doyle and Betty Swallow prepare donations at the Crisis Closet located at Crown Heights Baptist Church in Woodward. (Photo by Elise Solloway)

The Crisis Closet in Woodward is the mission of Crown Heights Baptist Church that was started over 50 years ago in Woodward. It ministers to anyone in need of clothing, shoes, small appliances, pots and pans, dishes and more with no questions asked.

“There is no shame of being in a rough spot and needing help to get back up,” said Carolyn Doyle. “We all have had times like that.”

Carolyn Doyle from Woodward, Betty Swallow from Fort Supply and Elaine Martin from Mutual are Crisis Closet volunteers who meet every Tuesday morning to sort through donations and organize them in the Crisis Closet located in a small building behind the church.

“The building is open to the public on Fridays from 9-to-11 a.m. and we let up to three adults at a time inside the Crisis Closet to pick out things they need,” Doyle said. “I’m just trying to help the people that need help. That’s our church ministry. I love it.”

Doyle is the supervisor of the program and explains that the Crisis Closet is primarily known by word of mouth at area churches and it is a community resource on the Salvation Army list for people in need. The Crisis Closet volunteers also make periodical posts about it on Facebook. Betty Swallow even helps get the word out by calling into the Tradio show on KWFX that runs Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Betty Swallow helps with the Crisis Closet, “because I can help people that need clothes and I tell everyone about it.

I have done it for 23 years and enjoy every minute of it,” said Swallow.

“I heard about the Crisis Closet by word of mouth,” said Elaine Martin. “I have helped here for two years.”

“Another ministry of the Crisis Closet is to load up clothing into a trailer and take it to Enid,” said Doyle. “The Hope House Thrift Store in Enid receives seasonal clothing from the Crisis Closet in Woodward. My son-in-law takes the trailer of clothes to Enid, periodically, and helps us with anything else we need.”

The Crisis Closet is only successful by generous donations in good condition. “When clothes and shoes get beyond the wearable stage we can’t use them,” said Doyle. “I have a saying that if you wouldn’t wear them anymore why would you expect others to wear them.” All donated items such as small appliances, dishes, glasses, and utensils must also be in good workable condition.

Anyone can help the Crisis Closet continue their ongoing mission by donating items at Crown Heights Baptist Church located at 2803 Maple Avenue. For more information contact Carolyn Doyle in the church office 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday or call the office at (580) 256-2133.

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