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

Launched in 2010, Catie’s Closet is operating in 54 schools in eight cities within two states serving 32,000 students. There are 44 schools in Massachusetts and 10 schools in New Hampshire. Based on the success of their business model, Boston Public Schools chose Catie’s Closet as their partner in all 125 of their schools. Positioned in 10 schools already, Catie’s Closet will meet their need over three years and open their second Distribution Center in the city in 2018.

In the short term, Catie’s Closet will open three additional distribution centers in Massachusetts serving an estimated 275,000 students located in New Bedford, Worcester, and Springfield.

In the long term, the organization is developing a franchise model to collaborate with school districts in other states across the nation. There are over 25,000,000 students living in poverty in the US. The launch is planned in 2018.

  • LAST DONATION DAY OF 2018! Open 12/15 from 9-12 PM for donations. Winter break starts 12/21 for most of our schools… https://t.co/LMiO4RjZde
  • Donation Day this Saturday from 9-12 PM. And we have URGENT URGENT needs for youth clothing!! We have young childre… https://t.co/g5xEsmY3Fj
  • $25 gift cards to Market Basket & Target needed to help our families purchase the essentials when school closes for… https://t.co/541yzasWFE
  • When schools close their doors for 11 days, students have to figure out how to support themselves through the holid… https://t.co/o962t2qeAp
  • 'Tis the season of giving! Big thank you to Lyndie Shaw for delivering NEW clothing from The Joseph Middlemiss Big… https://t.co/WlOxIWybVJ
  • Prepaid mailing labels for those not local to Dracut to ship their new & gently used clothing. Weigh your packed bo… https://t.co/olNuaOz29i
  • What a Super Bowl win last night for the North Andover HS Football Team! They scored big in our 💛 with a HUGE drive… https://t.co/ZZmS78E2vZ
  • 🚨Families are asking. Please help us bring relief!🚨 Now that cold weather is upon us, more families are struggling… https://t.co/08VpRBTtYx
  • YOUR DONATIONS MATTER! Catie's Closet made a delivery to Stoklosa MS with the winter essentials. Thanks to you, the… https://t.co/r02XEq4npB
  • THANK YOU! 694 students will be receiving the winter essentials thanks to your #GivingTuesday donations! Truly amaz… https://t.co/GDrbvQAnT0
  • URGENT: WE HAVE 40 MORE LOCAL CHILDREN WHO NEED HATS AND GLOVES! We're soooooo close to 500! We will not let our s… https://t.co/vvfk88H8ru
  • #GivingTuesday is almost over! Have you made your contribution to warmth and comfort for a child in your neighborho… https://t.co/UsA0F0Js7e
  • DONATE $10 TO CATIE'S CLOSET WITH ONE RETWEET! Benevity is giving $10 to nonprofits with each retweet! Simply go to… https://t.co/lp81QimmSD
  • Happy #GivingTuesday! We're calling all our friends, family and supporters to help us today. @benevity is currentl… https://t.co/RURn3jGpJw