About the Huskie Closet
The Huskie Closet launched in the spring of 2022, offering cold-weather clothing as well as men’s and women’s sized casual and career clothing. The closet allows students to shop for free clothing on a regular basis in a location that affirms their dignity. Students are also able to donate clean, usable clothing that no longer serves them but might be perfect for someone else.
A project of the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies, the closet has a clear connection to the center’s mission and vision. It provides many engagement opportunities to the NIU community:
- Students can shop, donate extra clothing and volunteer their time and talent at the closet.
- Faculty and staff can donate funds and clothing and volunteer at the closet.
- Nonprofit and NGO studies classes can apply their classroom learning to the real world by volunteering at the closet, developing and evaluating associated programs, and assessing data to aid in closet operations.
The Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies also supports the closet by providing two paid, year-long internships, so students can help operate the closet. Our lead intern and merchandising/marketing intern are able to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to managing this nonprofit start-up program.
Huskie Closet History
The Huskie Closet began with an idea. NIU student Clayton Schopfer, then a Student Government Association (SGA) senator, dreamed of a winter-wear drive for students. He worked with the Huskie Food Pantry and an existing used-clothing resource, Swap Don’t Shop, to bring the winter clothing drive to life.
After the event, SGA Senator Jacob Burg, a nonprofit and NGO studies student, suggested a collaboration with the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies to help fund and supervise student interns to run the closet on an ongoing basis.
Read more about how the Huskie Closet started.