The stage at The Chicken Box won’t have room for a band this weekend. But the reason will make you feel just as good as listening to your favorite tunes at the dive bar on Dave Street. Island resident Cris Farley and Chicken Box co-owner Rocky Fox have organized a used clothing drive for needy residents of Nantucket and Cape Cod.
“We realized there was a real need,” said Farley, who has been collecting used clothing from the Take It Or Leave It at the Madaket landfill for years to bring over to the homeless population on Cape Cod.
Over the past few weeks during the NFL playoffs, Farley and Fox have been putting out the call for used clothing to be dropped off at the Box. With a little help from the owners of The Paint Department off Old South Road, the results have been overwhelming, Farley said.
Nearly 4,000 article of clothing in more than 100 bags have been donated so far, and this Sunday morning groups of island Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be meeting at the Box to sort them and prepare them for distribution. The clothing will first be designated for families on Nantucket, as determined by the Nantucket Family Resource Center.
“Nantucket has first dibs,” Fox said.
All the leftovers will be transported aboard the Steamship Authority to the Salvation Army in Hyannis for distribution on Cape Cod.
Fox said a number of island businesses and individuals have contributed to the effort, including: Adam Weldy at Nantucket Tents, who is providing the tables that will be used for sorting the clothes on Sunday; Cape Cod Express; Jenny Bence at The Green; the Steamship Authority for providing free passage for the truck filled with clothes, among others.
The first formal clothing drive that included Nantucket happened two years ago, Fox said, and the second one had been postponed until now due to COVID-19.
“In 2019 Mr. Farley reached out to me about doing this and we put it together,” Fox said. “I think it’s always good to feed and clothe someone in need. Everything is always supply and demand, but if people demand it, you’ve got to try to find a way to supply it. With my work with Elder Services and the Food Pantry, you can always see there’s a need, and sometimes it’s easier to go grab a bag of clothes, and someone might feel less intimidated about their station.”
Additional donations of clothes and anyone interested in volunteering should go to The Box around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.