IUPUI Opens New Store For Students in Need

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On Oct. 9, IUPUI opened their first ever free clothing store for students, Paw’s Closet. Just like Paw’s Pantry, a free food pantry, students can come to find things they may need.

“We are open Tuesday’s from 9 a.m to 1 p.m and Wednesdays from 3 p.m to 7.pm. Each student can come in twice a month [located in Cavanaugh Hall Room 117] and get four articles of clothing and two accessories. For accessories we have shoes, handbags, belts and ties,” IUPUI Senior, Cassidy Caudill said.

Paw’s Closet was originally started to help students on a low budget get the right clothing items for job interviews. After conducting a survey in the spring of 2018, volunteers discovered that only 47 percent of students said they have access to clothing for job interviews.

Clothes are hung in CA 117 for students to wear.

“Our goal is to provide business attire for students. We know how hard it is to land a job and Paw’s Closet wants to help students gain access to items they may need,” Hannah Smeltzer, an IUPUI senior said.

Clothes and accessories were brought in by many faculty members and donations were received from students during the week of the Regatta.

“We had a really big donor, probably half of what is shown in the store right now came from one donor, Jennifer Harris. During Regatta week we had around seven donation sites all around campus where students could donate clothes,” Caudill said. “We got a lot more than we thought we would. What is in the store right now is only a third of what we have. We have a lot of items in storage. So one of our challenges will be how to rotate clothes in and out and figuring out how fast everything is going to go.”

Scarfs, necklaces and bracelets are a few accessories students can choose from.

While students can shop for a job interview, Paw’s Closet has other clothes as well for everyday wear. With students being on such tight budget, this store is here to connect students to items they may need to help them in their future.

“We not only want to help students find clothes for job interviews, but we want to help students save money so they can focus on paying for their education,”  IUPUI senior, Molly Pederson, said.

Paw’s Closet is sponsored by 11 schools here at IUPUI, with volunteers who give their time to work every Tuesday and Wednesday. The store will be looking for more volunteers in the spring of 2019.

“I got an email through the Honors College to volunteer and [Paw’s Closet] sounded like a good thing to contribute to,” Pederson said.

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