Model & Strategy

Over 19 million students live in poverty in the United States. For these students, focusing on education is yet another hardship they must endure. Lack of basic necessities is reported as one of the top ten reasons for reduced school attendance according to the Massachusetts school board. In Massachusetts alone, over 5,700 students dropped out of high school in 2014, costing taxpayers $1.7 billion in lost wages over the course of their lives.

Catie’s Closet improves school attendance and removes social stigma by discreetly distributing clothing, toiletries, and shoes to low-income students (Pre-K through 12th grade). Catie’s Closet makes it easy and positive for students in schools to access these basic needs via a retail-like storefront. Catie’s Closet builds a “store” or “walk in closet” right inside their school so that students have immediate access to what they need, free of charge. Offering age-appropriate clothing allows students increased self-esteem, a sense of belonging and a resource to alleviate the visible burden of poverty.

Long-term, the organization will use an affiliate model to partner with school districts in other states across the US.

Logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2010
Education
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast
Catie’s Closet
19 School Street
Dracut, MA 01826
An open door, a brighter future for students
Bus filled with donations for school aged children
Photo of founder Mickey
Meet Mickey Cockrell

Mickey Cockrell spent more than 30 years in the retail sector, providing leadership for Jordan Marsh, Filene’s and most recently as a Vice President for Kohl’s. Mickey is an innovator and problem-solver, and is known for creating high-impact marketing strategies. Her notable contributions include driving company expansion and operational efficiencies.  Mickey is a MassChallenge Diamond Winner, EforAll top Winner and won the “Celebration of Excellence” Non-Profit of the Year award.

IMPACT

Catie’s Closet operates in 37 schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, serving ~25,000 students.

In 2015, the Catie’s Closet distribution center processed more than 1 million clothing items and necessities.

  • Just want to shout out some of our awesome donations from this weekend, like the North Andover, Massachusetts High… https://t.co/vihmVGnjaC
  • ANNOUCEMENT! We will be CLOSED starting Wednesday, November 22nd through Friday November 24th in celebration of Th… https://t.co/mr46q1P4Tw
  • Hey Ladies! @TalbotsOfficial is redefining how we 👀 ourselves and others, and #CatiesCloset does the same for kids!… https://t.co/dKeL62XKbv
  • You never asked for names or proof, you simply gave. What a selfless act of kindness for those beaten down by obsta… https://t.co/fN3hCThdfZ
  • Just a reminder that we will be open tomorrow from 9 AM to 12 PM! Be sure to share with your friends and family who… https://t.co/T74qvfAaj1
  • Freshen that wardrobe and grab some holiday presents (for yourself, obviously) - @TalbotsOfficial is helping you an… https://t.co/it8dO2ECLP
  • #WorldKindnessDay: You all are our ray of hope and for thousands of students. Celebrate this special day by encoura… https://t.co/SftzrctVv0
  • We are in high need of pajamas! Long sleeves, sweatpants, coats, winter gear YOUTH SIZE. You can help purchase here… https://t.co/HNJSrzm7m6
  • Jeans, even after #JeanJackpot, we run out almost every few weeks! Youth and Men's - all sizes. You can mail them:… https://t.co/MqXPsRCueA
  • Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve. We do what we do because of you! Ha… https://t.co/KKDelRnNcA
  • We're touched by your response! You asked: hoodies are MAJOR necessity for walking and sleeping in the cold. Open 1… https://t.co/AtuG4goJJI
  • We need you help. Our students need your help. We can't fix these empty shelves without your action. Open 11/18!… https://t.co/6aC9jQNGI5
  • #MotivationalMonday AND we're throwing it back to our 2015 Gala! Who remembers how much fun they had?!… https://t.co/xVtvl8kaBZ
  • Fri-YAY! @KronosInc volunteers built up the spirits of our student in-need by helping us out at the DC yesterday. T… https://t.co/eMIIEw9Vhn
  • Desh Deshpande at #MCAWARDS17 still makes the world a hopeful place and makes us proud!
  • #MCAwards17 HAVING THE BEST TIME EVER!
  • Kathleen Healey... mentor extraordinaire presenting... at #mcawards17. Delivered a win for Catie’s Closet 2014
  • Keynote speaker ... Adam Neumann Founder of WeWork speaking at #mcawards17 .... I GOT CHILLS &THEY’RE MULTIPLING
  • WOW! Listening to 26 entrepreneurs present their startups #mcawards17 . MAJOR GOOSBUMPS!
  • So happy to be at MCAwards17! As a 2014 winner and Alumni... MC put us on the map!!! Thank you MC and Team!