For more than 15 years, members of St. John's Lutheran Church in the Heights have opened their doors to area residents in need of clean, gently used clothing.

They will do so again this month during their annual free clothing giveaway and invite all members of the community to visit the giveaway, which starts tomorrow

"We wanted to help the community and discovered that there was a great need for clothing," said volunteer Bonnie Hoffman, describing how the event began in the 1990s.

Volunteers have been gathering gently used clothing from the members of St. John's and other local congregations every year since the first giveaway.

"Everybody is welcome," she added. "The giveaway goes beyond this community. We have people come down from as far away as Wilkes-Barre. There is such a great need for clothing. Things that we take for granted, like being able to buy a new pair of shoes when we need them …

"Some people just can't afford these basic needs."

This year's selection is even larger than past years and features a wide variety of men's, women's, and children's clothing, ranging from casual wear to new or gently used office attire and formal wear.

Hoffman also estimates that there are more than 700 pairs of shoes, including 400 pairs of children's shoes. They will also have household goods, linens, and a variety of winter coats available.

"Every piece of clothing is sorted through and examined. Every piece is of good quality. We also have a lot of new items," she said.

Hoffman thanked those who have made this annual event possible and for helping it to grow. The giveaway would not be possible without the generous donations of area residents or the volunteers from St. John's who sort and organize the clothing.

In addition to collecting clothes from St. John's members, volunteers contact more than 50 area congregations each year to request donations.

"It's a lot of work," she added. "We have a great core of volunteers who do a tremendous job."

The giveaway will take place the first three Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in August, starting tomorrow.

Doors will be open Thursday, Aug. 2, 9, and 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 3, 10, and 17 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Aug. 4, 11, and 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about St. John's or to view a map of the Heights, go to St. John's is located at 319 South Ave. in Jim Thorpe.