Ollie’s Closet

Helping students at Carter and
MacRae Elementary School

Volunteers are needed at the closet door for the upcoming supply drive!

Volunteers are needed at the closet door in the narthex to help during collection weekends for the Saturday 5 PM Mass, Sunday 8:30 AM Mass and the 10:30 Mass. The drive begins August 3 & 4, and continues through August 24 & 25. If you’d like to help, click here.

About Ollie’s Closet

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 Closet

The 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.

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.

Thank you from Ollie’s Closet!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who gave so generously to Ollie’s Closet for the 2018/2019 school year.

To date we were able to supply the school with over 1,051 items ranging from more than 70 uniforms to over 500 pens, pencils, crayons and other learning materials and more than 453 personal care items. Stacks and stacks of encouraging notes were written by parishioners—from children to shut-ins and everyone in between. Monetary gifts tallied over $750—a 25% increase over last year— and will be used to help fill in any school supplies or uniform gaps.

We cannot thank you enough for your support and so freely giving to these children at Carter and MacRae who have so many needs. It is indeed a wonderful thing to witness. Please make praying for our adopted school a priority throughout this school year.

And last but not least, a big thank you to everyone who volunteered to help “man the door.” Your help was very much appreciated. —Diana Law and Lissa Olson

O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges and universities especially Carter and MacRae Elementary School That they may be lively centers for sound learning, new discovery and the pursuit of wisdom; Grant that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth.

—New Zealand Prayer Book

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

Want to help with Ollie's Closet?

If you'd like to be a part of the annual Ollie's Closet school supply drive, email Diana Law.

Email Diana