St. John's Lutheran Church in the Heights, Jim Thorpe, will begin its annual clothing giveaway on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 9 a.m.

The giveaway will continue on select dates through Aug. 17. The program will run on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"This year we have an abundance of clothing," said organizer Bonnie Hoffman, noting that organizers believe this is the biggest giveaway the church has hosted yet. "We are very excited for people to take advantage of this."

St. John's annual giveaway has been occurring for nearly 20 years. Each year, church and community members donate gently used and new clothing and household items that they can no longer use. The church then opens its doors and gives the public a chance to choose items they can use. All items are free.

This year's donations included a wide variety of infant and children's clothing, including shoes and winter coats; women's and men's clothing, including office attire; and children's toys and household items.

"We do this because there is a genuine need," said Hoffman.

She added that while those in need are encouraged to stop by, the event is open to all people regardless of need or where they live. Each year, people from throughout Carbon County and beyond come to take advantage of the giveaway.

"Everyone is welcome. It's a wonderful thing that goes beyond the community of Jim Thorpe," she said.

All items not distributed during the event will be donated. Men's clothing items are typically donated to the Allentown Rescue Mission; women's and children's items are distributed to other churches with year-round clothing ministries, or a homeless or women's shelter.

Hoffman thanked the volunteers who helped to sort and organize the clothing. Approximately 20 people take part in the event each year, organizing items before the giveaway and being on hand during the event to assist as needed.

"We couldn't do this without our wonderful volunteers," she added. "They put so many hours in."

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