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      Quanada clothing pantry provides self-respect and opportunity for women

      For years Quanada has been a safe haven for women and children seeking help after leaving abusive relationships.

      Their goal is to restore a sense of dignity to the women and help them get back on their feet with new lives and that sometimes means a new job as well.

      Helping in that task is a free, by appointment, clothing pantry.

      KHQA foud out more about this service and why over the years it has expanded to be a resource for the community at large.

      Many of us don't put much thought into the value of the clothes we wear. But for women who are trying to start their lives over again, good quality clothes are simple sign of dignity and self-worth.

      Quanada Executive Director Megan Duesterhaus says that for more than a decade the agency has aided those women by providing access to a free clothing pantry.

      She says, "For many of our clients they're actually on the job market, going to interviews and they really have to have professional attire to wear. We don't take, we don't stock anything in the clothing room that is torn or stained or in bad repair. Our belief is just because people might not have a lot financially doesn't mean that they shouldn't be able to have nice things and get ahead in life."

      As news of the pantry spread, more and more people started to donate clothing and that led Quanada to open the service up to the general public.

      Duesterhaus says, "Sometimes we get such influx of donations, that we have so many things that we actually need outside people from the community to come and access this service.

      Megan Duesterhaus also says that one added benefit to opening up the service to the public is that it has become a great calling card for the agency.

      "Oftentimes people first hear about Quanada because someone tells them, "Oh hey, when you're done with your garage sale you can bring all the things you don't sell and they 'll accept your donations." While they're here we might give them a brochure and explain to them what else it is we do so they might be able to tell someone else in need of our domestic violence services or rape crisis services that they can come here and get those services for free."

      So the next time your tired of a something in your closet and it's still in good shape, remember the folks at Quanada.

      They'll take your clothes and use them to just possibly change someone's life ... for the better.

      Quanada primarily accepts women's and children's clothing in good shape ... no rips, stains or tears.

      Men's clothing is accepted, but is only put out on food pantry days or is shipped to another agency where there is more room.