New Bern nonprofit hosts clothing drive on MLK Day

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -New Bern community members and nonprofits were collecting clothes Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. day, a national day of service.

Tried By Fire Inc. collected lightly worn clothes for Marla’s Closet, a clothing closet for community members in need and previously incarcerated women who will soon be residents at Tried By Fire’s “My Sister’s House” reentry home.

The clothing drive is in memory of long-time performing arts teacher at Craven Community College Marla Arrington Grady, and her constant love for helping women and girls in need throughout Craven County.

Grady’s family and friends were in attendance. Her daughter and organizers spoke about bringing her dreams to light on the same day we honor the dreams of Dr. King.

“Women that have been either abused or just when things have fallen bad. That was close to her heart. I felt a sense of ease because things that she cared about will be able to help other people,” said best friend Sheila Holloway.

“Marla’s dream being celebrated on Dr. Martin Luther King’s day proves that the dream is color blind. The dream is not reduced to an ethnic group it’s not reduced to a class of people and for you dare to dream if you get some muscle behind your dream if you get supporters behind your dream anything is possible,” said Bonita Simmons of Tried By Fire, Inc.

The Clothing Drive wrapped up at 4 pm on Monday. Simmons said once all donations have been collected, they will sort them and then store them in a donated apartment unit across the street from the women’s home at Craven Terrace Apartments.