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Ram Closet offers free used clothing for students, staff, and faculty

ISSUED: 9 February 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University students, staff, and faculty can now acquire new and slightly worn clothing, shoes, and accessories at the newly opened Ram Closet. Members of the Shepherd community with a valid Rambler ID can shop the closet, which is located in White Hall, room 317. The closet is open Thursdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Dr. Jenny Flora, Wellness Center director, said the Ram Closet was originally conceived when the Ram Pantry, a free food pantry for Shepherd students, faculty, and staff, opened in 2019.

“When the pantry opened, we did a survey asking what other services were needed and clothing, particularly career clothing, was mentioned,” Flora said. “This is an expansion of that vision to combat resource scarcity on our campus.”

Michelle Hunt, an environmental science major from Hedgesville, is helping to organize the closet. Her interest began last semester when she took an environmental science class where she learned that 85 percent of all textiles ended up in landfills in 2018, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

“One of the things that really surprised me is that much discarded clothing ends up in landfills in other countries,” Hunt said. “To see some of the images that we saw of clothing 12 feet down in sand because there’s just so much of it was an eye opener for me. I had no idea that that’s where it ended up. I thought like everybody does it gets rehomed and repurposed.”

Chemistry major William Prudnick, of Beckley, is president of the Shepherd chapter of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, which is planning to support the Ram Closet through a clothing drive and volunteer hours.

“It’s good to have this sort of confidential place where people can pick up items of clothing because clothing is desperately expensive,” Prudnick said. “I know plenty of students on campus who are definitely in need of items but just can’t afford new clothing. It’s such a good thing to see all of this here and for the students to be able to make use of this.”

The Ram Closet had a soft opening on Thursday, February 3, and nursing major Carly Holden was among the first customers. An avid thrift shopper, she arrived with a bag of clothing to exchange.

“I figured if I was going to shop for free then I didn’t want to show up empty handed so I brought some clothes,” Holden said. “I think the Ram Closet is great for sustainability. That’s why I enjoy thrifting—because I can use clothes that otherwise might have been thrown away. I think this is a great opportunity for Shepherd students, maybe some who might be less fortunate.”

The Ram Closet is accepting donations of gently used men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and shoes, particularly career wear, formal wear, and caps and gowns. Hunt said the closet doesn’t accept undergarments or clothing with holes and stains. She said right now there’s particularly a need for men’s clothing and shoes in all sizes.

For information about donating clothing, email

Listen to an interview about the Ram Closet here.

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