The Closet expands, becomes The South Omaha Closet

The new South Omaha Closet features wooden fixtures purchased and placed by Brad Birkholtz and his family.

The new South Omaha Closet features wooden fixtures purchased and placed by Brad Birkholtz and his family.

Melina Herrera, Editor in Chief

During harsh winter seasons it became apparent many students were in need of warm clothes. The winter rack was available to students, if offered donated coats hats gloves and other winter clothes.  

In 2019 math teacher Hannah Holguin decided it was time to do more for the community. She started The Closet, similar to the winter rack but offering different donated clothing items and hygiene products on campus for students.  

Beginning by word of mouth, teachers began donating, a Facebook page was created and the community began to contribute. Alumni donated supplies and financial contributions. Other staff, like math teacher Jake Iverson, helped manage The Closet. 

The Closet grew, becoming too big for a classroom closet. Soon The South Omaha Closet, or The SOC for short, will be available to the South Omaha community.  

The SOC will operate out of a donated steel shipping container located in the parking lot between Bryan Middle and Bryan High Schools 

It will be open to families to access once a month serving family needs, hygiene products and clothing.  

“What was once one classroom closet has turned into two classroom closets and now we have The SOC, Holguin said.  

The Closet will remain on campus for emergency needs 

Holguin explained that Brad Birkholtz and his family have been volunteering with The Closet and The Packer Pantry since March. Birkholtz purchased and organized the shelving and organizational storage inside the container. 

Donated items to The Closet or The SOC will be washed and sanitized before distribution.  

Holguin and Iverson are considering future events to spread awareness of The SOC and what it has to offer the community.  

There will be a grand opening to honor those who made this possible and a mural on the steel container is being planned to honor the Omaha South community. The artist is a Bryan High alumnus who is hoping to collaborate with other Omaha artists on the mural 

The SOC will also be seeking student volunteers. Students can apply these volunteer hours towards programs like NHS.