Ollie’s Closet

Helping students at Carter and
MacRae Elementary School


Ollie’s Closet is named after Ollie Jones, a former principal at Carter and MacRae Elementary. In her tenure, she developed a reputation for having an endless supply of school supplies in her office closet. If a student needed a uniform, backpack, notebook, crayons, or pencils, Principal Ollie had them in her closet. Word soon began to spread as more and more students sought help from Ollie’s closet.

Ollies ClosetIn 2011, Saint James held its first Ollie’s Closet campaign, and since then, thousands of school supplies, ranging from uniforms to protractors, have been stashed in Ollie’s Closet ready to be given or lent to students in need.

Donated items now range from school uniforms to body wash, tooth brushes, and hand sanitizer. New for the 2017-2018 school year are notes of encouragement created for teachers to give to their students for encouragement and support.

Ollie's ClosetThe Ollies’s Closet campaign begins in August and concludes on the first weekend in September. Anyone wanting to help is encouraged to stop by the display in the Narthex and take a card from an envelope. It tells you what to buy, and on the back, it tells you where it can be purchased. Items can brought to church prior to a service, or they can be dropped off at the church office during the week. Financial donations are also accepted.

If you would like to be part of the Ollie’s Closet campaign team email Diana Law.

About Carter and MacRae Elementary School

Located on South Prince Street across from the Water Street Mission, Carter and MacRae has over 550 students in grades K4 through 5th grade. The homeless rate is 10%—the highest homeless population of the School District of Lancaster’s 12 elementary schools—and 91% of the school’s families live below the federal poverty rate. The assistance provided by our volunteers helps to shore up support that often cannot be provided at home due to language deficiencies, second-shift jobs, and/or incarceration.

I am thankful for the support and the supplies that Saint James provides. Our school is across from Water Street Mission, and our kids live with all the hardships of poverty every single day. If we didn’t have this relationship with Saint James, a lot of our kids would have nothing. Whether it’s a backpack or Power Packs, we’re only able to do the things we do for the kids because Saint James provides the help.
M. DeEmilio, Guidance Counselor, Carter and MacRae