Volunteer Spotlight: Angie and Sarah of Covington

The Second Chances Clothing Closet started small, but with the belief that small efforts can make big impacts. Beginning as a clothing drive offering donated men’s suits for job interviews, it now operates year-round at 118 S. Lexington Avenue in Covington, providing free clothing for men, women, and kids, housewares, and even furniture. The success of Second Chances is largely due to the work of Angie Campbell and Sarah Burnette.

Thinking bigger

A “labor of love” is how Angie describes Second Chances. Before it even had a name Angie and Sarah were involved in the closet’s early development, when it focused on providing job interview attire for TAP Virginia CARES clients. Steadily, the donations started to include clothing for all genders, ages, and needs. Both women saw the potential for growth, and decided to enlist some help from the community. “Angie was instrumental in recruiting area businesses,” says Sarah. Angie soon found the Covington branch of Balchem Corporation, who generously remodeled and—via employee vote—named the new Second Chances Clothing Closet.

Opening doors

On November 30, 2020, Second Chances officially opened. It has since served 50 families in the Alleghany Highlands, allowing clients to come and “shop” for themselves and anyone in their households. From the outside, clothing may seem like a small gesture to a struggling family, but Sarah and Angie know that it can change someone’s confidence and outlook on life. Through the closet, people can get needed items—such as suits, shoes, and winter coats—with “the respect and dignity they deserve,” says Sarah. The goal of Second Chances isn’t simply to provide clothing, but to improve quality of life and break the cycle of generational poverty.

Eyeing the future

These two women have done everything possible to keep the success rolling. “Sarah has sacrificed hours to bring the closet together. She has tirelessly given her heart and love to this project,” says Angie. The story doesn’t end here—Angie and Sarah are constantly thinking of ways to innovate and improve. “There are so many ways we all can help others,” says Angie. “I encourage everyone to think outside of the box. You never know whose life you will impact.”

Second Chances Clothing Closet is always accepting donations, especially for children’s clothing. To make a donation, call 540-962-6328.

Thank you to the Alleghany Journal for allowing us to use their photo of Angie and Sarah. You can also watch an interview they did with Angie and Sarah here.