OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — “When I have people that I show them the church, this is one of the first places, because I’m like, ‘you gotta see this.’ I think of it sometimes as the best-kept secret,” said Pastor Tessa Zehring.
Trinity United Methodist Church in Ralston is so much more than a place of worship.
Their Lost and Found Clothing Center has changed lives, aligning with Zehring’s goals of serving, sharing, and letting people know they are loved exactly as they are.
It all started about a decade ago with Ralston Community Schools donating items from their lost and found.
“Since then, it’s grown. We still get lost and found from school and we are in partnership with Ralston Schools but we get donations from all over,” said Zehring.
On Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, anyone in need is welcome to shop, all free of charge.
“We have helped people with everything from everyday clothes... We had a family that needed help with funeral clothes, there’s nice clothing, dressier, more casual, there’s all ranges,” said Zehring.
“It means a whole lot. I mean, you come here, you never know what you might find. Especially if not for yourself, for someone else," said shopper and volunteer Sammie Jackson.
For Jackson, the positive impact of the clothing center had a ripple effect.
She’s an Omaha Housing Authority resident who shops here for others in her community.
“I would come here and get the clothes and take them back to my center and I would hang the clothes out. So on certain days, I’d put my sign out and I’ll allow people to come in and do their little shopping there just the same as they would come here," said Jackson.
That act of effort and generosity is appreciated by her neighbors.
“They be like, 'oh my God, I can’t believe this.' And a lot of times, people be needing the clothes and we don’t have a place really nowhere near close to us like here for people to actually come and get clothing,” said Jackson.
Jackson hopes to spread the word about this service.
“It’s a big game-changer. The more people who know about this place, the more people will come,” said Jackson.
The clothing center is open from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Trinity United Methodist Church always welcomes donations from the community. They are located at 8009 Q St in Ralston.