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.

  • Happy Father's Day to all our great dads out there! Enjoy your special day! #CatiesCloset
  • Get something great for Dad this year? Make a donation to #CatiesCloset in his honor! Nothing says "I 💓 you, Dad" m… https://t.co/sVaDDJO96H
  • What are you doing this weekend?? Tomorrow is Donation Day! Don't forget to stop by with your new and gently used… https://t.co/4IJQKx4R2y
  • 🚨🚨🚨URGENT NEED🚨🚨🚨 Full sized toothpaste and deodorant! Please consider purchasing these items and bringing them to… https://t.co/ez8NHzPmPs
  • Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is making an impact! This small and mighty team showed us that anyone can make a diffe… https://t.co/9ulcsxbPMV
  • Summer vacation is on its way!! Have you gone through your summer clothing? Got gently used clothes? Don't forget… https://t.co/wfELYOpnsJ
  • No, you're not seeing double! @copyrightclear came back to volunteer AGAIN yesterday! This group is amazing! Thank… https://t.co/lbbvnAGqkr
  • This could not be more true for our children living in poverty.#CatiesCloset is fully committed to maintaining a di… https://t.co/9DUBOpwXMl
  • WOW! What a Saturday! The sunshine continued inside our Distribution Center through the smiles of our volunteers an… https://t.co/INFasBJInI
  • DONATION DAY! We're ready! Here's a great reminder about the impact of your donation: https://t.co/xd4z2tJGZk Who… https://t.co/I3ihsmurRQ
  • Looking for a summer read?? We have the perfect book! "Starting Small and Making It Big" by Bill Cummings tells th… https://t.co/yHwiaLavIm
  • Ms. Preston's Kindergarten Science Class at MicroSociety Academy in Nashua is learning about keeping their teeth he… https://t.co/uszpvogbCN
  • Brownie Troop 62803 getting creative with their donation boxes for Catie's Closet! Not to mention, they did an OUTS… https://t.co/dAKIJDSWux
  • Ddid you know that we received over 4,000 POUNDS of clothing and shoes from local students at @UMassLowell ?! Amazi… https://t.co/1xBaKdHXw7
  • #HappyMemorialDay Today, we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and their families. Thank you to o… https://t.co/pAYiqM6Qlu
  • Thoughts for your Sunday on this lovely long weekend. Help us reach children today: https://t.co/lxIae3W9Dl
  • The Woburn St. Vincent de Paul Junior Society pitched in last Saturday to sort clothing for Catie's Closet! Thank y… https://t.co/MpjLoGW7Qm
  • THANK YOU Dignity Matters!! Our partnership with this organization has given us greater opportunity to support our… https://t.co/gVLduG8S2Z