Giving the shirt off your back

Published 10:54 am Monday, February 15, 2010

Having lived in Calera for more than 30 years, I’ve learned the people are generous. Jenny Avery is one of those.

Avery has lived in Calera all her life. Her daughter-in-law, Wendy, teaches at Calera Elementary, and every Tuesday I see her granddaughter, Carley, at Calera Middle School.

Carley is an avid reader in the MORE reading program and I get to reward her with free books for her hard work.

The Lord burdened Avery’s heart for several years to start a clothing ministry, and she finally did.

“Sue Duncan came up with a name, Calera Community Acts of Kindness, and along with Ellie Harrington and others, the first clothing give away was held in the fall of 2006,” Avery said.

Since their beginning, winter clothing and the upcoming Spring Clothing Give Away has been added.

Rebecca Krueger joined Acts of Kindness in 2008.

“It’s not just Calera residents who donate. We receive an abundance of items from surrounding communities,” Krueger said

She emphasized Acts of Kindness is not a 501(c) organization.

“We are just a group of caring individuals who recognize there are people in our community who are struggling. Any of us could be hit by hard times,” Krueger said.

Although they passed out winter clothing to almost 600 people last October, there was plenty left over.

The remainder was given to Daniel Cason Ministries in Birmingham.

This reminds me of the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people and after everyone had eaten, 12 baskets of leftovers were gathered.

“Many volunteers have had the opportunity to share the clothing of loved ones who have passed away,” Krueger shared.

Acts of Kindness is truly a picture of God’s second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The clothing is free. Personal information is not gathered and recipients shop for their items.

Acts of Kindness does ask recipients to take only what they will personally use.

If you have spring or summer clothing to give away, you can drop it off March 4 and 5 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Calera Community Center on Hwy. 31.

Acts of Kindness accepts infant, children, teen, men and women clothing and shoes in good condition.

Clothing will be distributed March 6 at the center from 7 a.m. until gone.

If you are interested in volunteering, a meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23 in the Calera Library Meeting Room at 7 p.m.

Krueger can be reached at 281-1975 or

Mollie Brown is the new community columnist for Calera. She can be reached at