Pay it Forward: Parker's Closet

Desirae Parker reacts to a $500 donation for Parker's Closet (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Parker's Closet provides clothes for people in crisis in Utah County.

"We've done foster kids, we've done refugees, we've done low income," said Desirae Parker, who started the charity two years ago.

Parker ran it out of her car out of a desire to help the homeless people she would drive by on her way to work.

"I could only drive past them so long before I had to stop and do something," she said.

She started gathering feminine hygiene products, but then found that many people were in need of good clothes as well.

So her motto is now "decreasing dependency by increasing dignity."

Parker can relate to the people she helps. She has been in some of their shoes.

"I was in foster care," she said. "And prior to being in foster care, I had one stint in a shelter."

She recalls her feet always being cold because her socks were always wet.

She was eventually adopted by the Parker family, and wanted to name her charity after them.

"Because they opened their closet up to me and now I'm a Parker, so I get to open my closet to other people," she said.

Parker gets some help from volunteers. And donation bins rotate to willing local businesses so Parker can maximize her resources.

But, she does a lot of the work by herself.

"My whole thing is that I can't do everything, but I can do something," she said.

She feels good about the difference she's making.

"All I've ever wanted to do is make my parents proud, both my foster parents and adopted parents. And I know I've done that," Parker said.

To help keep Parker's Closet going, Mountain America Credit Union donated $500.

If you'd like to help out or donate clothes, you can visit the Parker's Closet Facebook page for more information.