The mission of the Ken-Ton Closet is to directly improve the quality of life for needy children living in the Village of Kenmore/Town of Tonawanda by providing them with items of daily living such as clothing, school supplies, toiletries, and other materials at no cost.
How do I access the Closet?
The Closet is located at the Jefferson School Building 250 Athens Blvd, Tonawanda, NY 14223 (our entrance is located on the back of the building, Oakvale Blvd) . If you enter through door 2, we are on the 2nd floor. Our hours of operation are:
Tuesday and Thursday 10 AM - 4 PM
2nd Saturday of each month 9 AM - 1 PM
NEW: How do I sign up for a time to shop?
Because of COVID-related adjustments, we no longer allow walk-ins and you must now sign up for a time to shop. The link to register is here. Please also be sure to read this document carefully as it includes information about masks and who may come with you when you shop.
Who is eligible to receive items from the Closet?
Any child (0 - 18 years) living within the Village of Kenmore/Town of Tonawanda is eligible.
How often can my child receive items?
Families may visit every other month.
What types of items can my child receive?
Although we cannot guarantee sizes or availability of items, we generally allow you to take at each visit:
3 – 4 outfits
1 pair of pajamas
1 pair of shoes
1 package of socks (2 pairs)
1 package of underwear (2 pairs)
1 each of specialty seasonal items as they are put out:
hat, gloves/mittens, scarf
1 pair of boots (usually very limited quantities)
Families will also receive a bag of toiletries at each visit. Generally, they will contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo/conditioner. Other specialty items may be provided depending upon collections that are done on the Closet's behalf.
What if an item I needed is not available when I come?
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee items. If we do not have a winter jacket in your child’s size when you come, we can put you on a waiting list and contact you if one becomes available. Because we have a limited number of volunteers, we cannot do this for everyday items such as shoes or pants.
As of January 1st, 2015, use of the Closet requires registration. We hope this information will help you with our enrollment process.
What you will need to register:
You will need to show a PHOTO ID AND PROOF OF RESIDENCY (you must live in the Village of Kenmore or the Town of Tonawanda to receive services). If you do not have a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card you can also show a benefit card or some other photo ID with some other proof of residency (for example, a utility bill). You will also need to bring a photo ID each time you use the Closet.
Is there a fee to register?
No. There are no fees to register or use the Closet!
Why do I have to register?
In order to make sure we have enough supplies for our growing customer base, we have to ask that you come to the Closet only once every other month (six times a year). Registration allows us to keep track of when our customers last came to ensure everyone has fair access to the Closet. You can come to any of the open hours in a month listed above. Socks and underwear (if available) are distributed once every other eligible visit (3 times a year).
Why do you ask my child’s age and school?
This program is open to children newborn to age 18 years that live in and attend schools within Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda. This allows us to keep track of which child sizes/genders are in most demand and also note which schools may benefit from Closet programs housed directly in their school.
What if I don’t want to provide the registration information?
This information is required to use the Closet. Anyone requesting items from the Closet must register. Your information is kept confidential and personal details are never shared. We may on occasion generate reports including information such as child age, gender and school attended, however, this will never include parent/guardian name or address. In 2018, we also ask you to fill out an anonymous ethnicity survey. We do not link this information to your account but it is helpful to us as we apply for grant funding. Currently the ethnicity survey is required.
How often will I need to register?
You will need to register your first visit of each new year (anytime after January 1st).
Do I have to bring my children with me?
No, your children do not have to come with you, but we do recommend you bring older children for sizing. Please be aware that any child under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (parent/legal guardian or a school/Closet approved representative).
Can I get things for myself?
This program is for children newborn to 18 years of age. We do not provide items to parents, guardians, college age adults, etc. On occasion we receive donations which are more appropriate for adults. Many of these items are donated to local churches/other clothing organizations. A few times a year we do put items out that do not fit children on special racks which are free for anyone to take. Please do not ask our volunteers for items for yourself. It puts them in an awkward position and means less resources for the children.