Grace's Closet is named in memory of Grace Powell, a wonderful, kind and generous woman who never met a stranger and was always feeding people, not only with food both with love.
What created our desire to do something more?
I have 3 children who attend Oconee County schools. I was at school one day having lunch with my 6 year old Lilly- she invited her friend to sit with us. Lilly’s friend finished her lunch and said that she was still hungry - I realized she only had a sandwich and drink but thought maybe she had this smaller lunch only today. But after inquiring a little more - we discovered that this was the norm for this little girl.
For the rest of the year we packed a little extra food for Lilly to share with her friend. Soon after this, we started hearing more and more about students who were eligible for the school’s breakfast and lunch program but were not getting enough food for dinner and weekends. The backpack program is a great start and very needed but we saw quickly that the backpack alone was not enough for middle and high school students.
Joyce Powell has always had a passion for children. She knew that there were many students that still weren’t getting enough food.
She was aware of many students who were eating all their food from their backpack on their bus ride home. Some kids were feeling they wouldn’t have enough food for themselves and their whole family.
We quickly realized that if food was needed, so were many basic resources. Because of these experiences, Grace's Closet was created, where clothing, hygiene items and school supplies are available to students in a welcoming environment. Now, we have a presence at ALL 19 Oconee County schools— and are watching kids become more confident and build self esteem! See our about page for how the Closet works!