Onalaska, Wisconsin (WXOW) A lot of your children asked for new clothes for Christmas,a and not just any clothes. They asked for a specific brand of jeans or shoes. Clothes matter. No one understands that more than a teenager. That's why a group of Onalaska teens and their youth pastor took it upon themselves to open a boutique for their peers.
Marla Meyer never planned to run a boutique, but the youth pastor manages a busy shop. "Anything a kid would want or need we've got it for them, and if not, if there is something they need I'll try and find it for them."
Only her clients are not paying customers. Marla and the members of the First Lutheran youth group operate the "Acts 20:35" clothes closet. A one of a kind shop for teens in need. "We've given over 300 articles of clothes since the middle of September, which is a lot. And; every day this week I've had people come."
Student volunteers do all the work behind the scenes. They act as Marla's eyes, only the clothes they would wear make it to the boutique shelves. Marissa Peyer is one of the volunteers. "Clothes are pretty important; especially stylish clothes. There are people that have old clothes for people, but these are stylish. This is all stylish so nobody will know they come here."
By design these Fashionistas never see the teens who shop here, but they believe their work is worth it. Marla however Is reminded of the importance of her group's mission to serve almost every day. "I had a pair of shoes. They sat here for about a week. They were the first thing the kid picked up. He put them on and he about cried. He wanted to leave then. That's all he wanted was a pair of shoes. It's heartwarming."
If you're curious the boutique gets its name "Acts 20-:5" from the bible verse it's better to give than receive. If you would like to help Marla says she always needs jeans, hooded sweatshirts, boots, and gently used tennis shoes. She also accepts cash donations, as well Kohl's cash and brand new hygiene items like tooth brushes, tooth paste and shampoo and conditioner.
You can drop off donations at First Lutheran Church during regular business hours. If you would like to shop at the "Acts 20:35" boutique call Marla at (608)783-2236 or (608)780-1657. The boutique is located at 203 4th Ave. So. behind First Lutheran Church.
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