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Ann Arbor Miller, Published February 23 2009

In View: Caring Closet

A Fargo mom’s quest to find good homes for her children’s gently used clothes gave birth to an ongoing church project that benefits local kids and takes the concept of reuse to a new level.

About two years ago, Cynthia Pflipsen had six children and “loads and loads” of extra clothing. She wanted the clothes to go directly to children who needed them. Her efforts to find a charitable program free of bureaucracy, vouchers and paperwork came up empty.

Pflipsen, who isn’t one to give up easily and now has seven children, turned to her faith community at First United Methodist Church near downtown Fargo. Her concept struck a chord with church leaders, who in turn agreed to convert a large storage room in the basement into a home for the project.

The Caring Closet opened in September 2007 and has since benefited hundreds of area children.

A core group of eight volunteers that includes Pflipsen – who often brings her younger children such as JohnPaul, 4, pictured above – open the closet a few hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year. It’s open one day a week during the summer months.

This quiet ministry, which survives on donations, is anonymous and intended to serve those who have fallen on hard times. Visitors are typically referred to the project by social service agencies or charitable organizations.


To inquire about volunteer opportunities or donation needs for the Caring Closet, which provides clothing and supplies

to local children through a project of First United Methodist Church in Fargo, call Cynthia Pflipsen at (701) 235-6848.

“In View” is a photo column by Fargo-based photojournalist Ann Arbor Miller focusing on everyday people and places in our community. Look for it Mondays in The Forum. To suggest future column ideas, e-mail annarbormiller [at] gmail [dot] com.