Bundaberg, Australia: On Saturday, 23 March 2024, Bundaberg Church of the Nazarene welcomed its community to the Clothes Basket. Every month, Pastors Kelvin and Petrina Rowland, their congregation, and a host of volunteers bless their neighbors by inviting them into the church building and offering a huge selection of clothes—all for free. Their motto is “Giving in—Given out.”

The Clothes Basket began as a response to a housing and cost-of-living crisis in the Bundaberg region. Around eighteen months ago, the church received a donation of clothes and saw an opportunity to meet a need in their neighborhood. When they opened their doors for the first Clothes Basket, twelve “shoppers” came. At the most recent Clothes Basket, three hundred forty-eight people came!

 “Our hope is that people will be blessed and that they will know this is an act of blessing coming from the people of the Bundaberg Church of the Nazarene,” says Pastor Kelvin.

Setting up the Clothes Basket is an enormous task. On Thursday, nineteen volunteers transformed the sanctuary into a store. On Friday, they sorted, folded, and hung up thousands of articles of clothing for people of all ages. Early Saturday morning, people lined up before the church even opened its doors. Everything was put away by the evening, and the sanctuary was ready for Sunday morning again.

The Bundaberg community has recognized the value of the Clothes Basket. The ministry has received several community grants and donations, including two park benches for people to sit on while they wait for the doors to open. At this past month’s Clothes Basket, the recently elected mayor of Bundaberg stopped by to see what it was all about.

“Bundaberg loves the Clothes Basket,” says Pastor Kelvin, “but the biggest blessing is that we’ve got people who are God-curious by sharing an inoffensive gospel.” Next month, The Clothes Basket will open its doors again, seeking to meet the Bundaberg community’s physical and spiritual needs.