Five years ago, Anjanette Benavides noticed there weren’t any resources for kids in need in Alice. So Benavides decided to create her own resource called Coyote Closet. The Closet is located at the old Nayer Elementary School in Alice.
Stocked with clothes, shoes, toiletries and food, the Closet is making sure all kids are prepared when they go to school.
"That’s what we want, for the kids to be able to be successful in school," Benavides said. "And make sure that they have everything that they need so that they can be in school," she added.
Benavides got the idea to start the Closet after she heard of students wearing the same clothes days in a row, or clothes that didn’t fit.
"I would say about 90 percent of the kids that come through the closet are wearing shoes that are two sizes too small," Benavides said.
That’s only fueled her passion to keep providing clothes and the essentials for kids. Last school year, the Closet provided clothes for at least 350 kids. Each kid is given five pants and five shirts, amongst other things, enough to last them a full school week.
When Benavides started the Closet, it was just herself collecting clothes in a few bins. She kept the bins in her car or in her home. Since then, the Closet tripled in size. Now, Alice ISD allows her to use three classrooms to set up the Closet.
Overall, Benavides says much of the Closet’s success is thanks to the community and the dozen or so volunteers that dedicate their time to organize clothes.
"It makes you feel complete to know that you can help somebody out there in need," Josie Juarez said, a volunteer of three years. "So I feel blessed to be a part of this great opportunity to help out people, and we love it."
Items at the Closet are donated by local businesses, churches or other people in the community. But the Coyote is always in need of donations year-round. Items needed include blue jeans, khakis, polo shirts worn to school, toiletries, etc.
For more information on the Closet, click here or call/text 361-701-1639.