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Grayslake church distributes clothing, good will

Grayslake-04/14/12 Sat./St. Andrew Episcopal Church
Marlyn Diaz Round Lake looks over childrens clothing Saturday St. Andrew Episcopal Church during Elijah's Mantel

Grayslake-04/14/12, Sat./St. Andrew Episcopal Church Marlyn Diaz, of Round Lake looks over childrens clothing Saturday at St. Andrew Episcopal Church during Elijah's Mantel event. | Joe Shuman~Sun-Times Media

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To contact St. Andrew’s Church, call (847) 223-2310. They are always in need of donations, material or cash, and they also welcome new volunteers for distribution days (Saturday) and sorting days (Tuesday morning).

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Updated: June 15, 2012 1:57AM

Elijah’s Mantle is a bible story concerning the transfer of clothing (mantle) from the Prophet Elijah to his son Elisha.

But more than clothing, it’s also about transferring knowledge and spirit.

For the past seven years, a group at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (located at the corner of Lake and Park in Grayslake) has been serving up a generous amount of clothing while also serving up an equal portion of heart-lifting spirit at its Elijah’s Mantle clothing giveaway the second Saturday of every month.

Marjie Jobes, 74, of Grayslake recently led a tour to show how the well-oiled giving machine works.

People in need of children’s clothing come in and fill out a form and get a number. A personal-shopper volunteer takes the person through the well stocked department store that’s set up in the church where each child gets two outfits and a pair of clean underwear if they have the right size. Some sizes are tough to get.

“We never have Size 5 boys bottoms, They must really trash them,” Jobes said with a smile. There are also shoes, pajamas, baby clothes, diapers when available, and other items. When a mother or father first comes in and fills out the form, the church has set up tables for children with crayons and pictures to color. Each child can pick a book and a toy.

“Melonie Hidrogo, 8, of Round Lake Park broke out a big smile when she saw a book in the box that she knew she wanted. It was about the Jonas brothers.

“I like reading a book about the Jonas brothers. I like how they sing and they are so kind,” she said.

Her mother, Erica, said the Mantel helps her a lot. “I find clothes for my girls, three girls,” she said.

Brandon Perez, 11, of Round Lake was there with his cousin, Darnel Martinez, 9, of Round Lake. Perez was polite and picked out the book Pirates of the Caribbean. “I want to read it because I have seen all the movies and play it on wii,” he said, referring to the Nintendo video game.

His cousin. Darnel picked out a book for his younger brother called Jack and the Bean Stalk. “I picked it because he doesn’t know how to read and we help him at home,” he said.

He picked out The Hulk for himself. “I already saw the movie,” he said as he flashed a smile and headed back to pick out a toy.

Jobes said that they have regular customers and they often bring back clothes to donate because sometimes kids grow out of them so fast. “People come through word of mouth. It fluctuates year to year,” she said of how busy they can get.

“I think there are other places doing it now too,” she said. In 2011, they served 1,410 children from 455 families.

Besides the Mantel every second Saturday of the month from 9-11 a.m., the group holds coat drives in November and December (300 coats last winter) and a gym-shoe day in August. “We gave out 500 pairs of gym shoes last year and gift certificates to Payless,” said Jobes.

They also have a bulletin board where parishioners can pick a shoe size and then purchase it and donate it to the shoe drive. The church’s youth group helped with the shoe drive and the youth group from the United Protestant Church down the street also helped out.

“It’s a great group,” Jobes said of her fellow volunteers, “We have a lot of fun together. We tease and we get a lot of work done as well.”

Work well done.

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