Local Safford mom to hold back to school clothing exchange


Safford – Mary Whitmer Richardson, a mother of three and Safford resident, is holding a back-to-school clothing exchange this Saturday. This will be her third clothing exchange.

Richardson said she has already received many clothing donations and expects more to show up between now and Saturday.

Only some of the bags of clothes Richardson has collected for the clothing exchange.

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Pictured are some of the bags of clothes Mary Richardson has collected for her clothing exchange.

“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” she said. “I have six kids of my own, so I know how expensive clothes are, and I know that especially at the beginning of school time nobody has any money.”

Her major requirements for donations are that the clothes must be in good condition and clean. Donations can be dropped off at her residence at 2230 S. Lamonica Way in Safford on Thursday and Friday in time for the exchange Saturday. She is accepting clothing of any size, however, she does not accept undergarments like bras and underwear. Extra backpacks, purses, belts and jewelry are also welcomed to be donated. Richardson requires clothing bags be labeled by size and gender.

“If you know of anybody (who is) needing clothes, even if they can’t bring any, tell them to come anyway,” Richardson said, “There’s always a lot.”

Working with an honor system, Richardson tells people to take only what they need.

The back-to-school clothing exchange will be at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 20th Street Chapel in Safford on Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Whatever items left unclaimed in the exchange will be donated to the Angel’s Closet in Safford.

For any questions, or if you have items that need to be picked up, call or text Richardson at 928-322-6539.