FCOC Clothing Center introduces new director
RINSING – When Erin Cardimen moved to Flushing last summer, she knew she wanted to get involved in her new community in some sort of outreach capacity.
Fortunately, such an opportunity soon opened up for her at the Flushing Christian Outreach Center (FCOC).
Cardimen, a retired paralegal, accepted the position of manager of the new FCOC Apparel Center at 6122 W. Pierson Road in January. Since then, she has been hard at work collecting clothing donations and ensuring the center is well stocked with everything from winter coats, shoes and children’s clothes to dress shirts, suits and dresses. ball.
“We just got inundated with donations daily,” she said. “This community is so gracious.”
Cardimen’s duties include scheduling current volunteers, receiving applications for new volunteers, receiving donations, and helping volunteers sort clothes. She also completes paperwork, makes sure customers are in the center’s database, and works closely with the clothing captains who oversee certain clothing sections on each shift.
The clothing center itself is set up like a department store, with changing rooms and sections for workwear, business attire and everyday wear. It is also equipped with fitting rooms for men and women, a washer/dryer room and ample storage space for seasonal clothing.
Beyond her management duties, Cardimen strives to foster relationships with donors and to make the center welcoming and comfortable for clients.
“I want customers who come here to feel like they’re in a mall,” she said. “I don’t want them to feel awkward or different. Whatever their situation, we want them to come and feel welcome.
Cardimen, originally from Plymouth, spent more than 35 years in the legal field and retired last year from a municipal law firm in Farmington Hills. She moved to Flushing last August with her husband Jeff, who was senior pastor at a church in Plymouth and is now assistant superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene in the Eastern District of Michigan.
After moving to Flushing, Cardimen looked for a place where she could donate her work clothes and outfits. Soon, she got in touch with the FCOC Clothing Center and became a donor.
Eventually, she learned of the center’s opening and applied.
“I was looking for something to do and a way to get to know people in the Flushing community,” she said. “I have always wanted to help people in need.
The center recently reopened on February 21 after being closed for more than a month as a precaution against COVID-19. Cardimen said the closing time was something of a blessing in disguise, as it allowed her to catch up on inventory and acclimate to work.
With the onset of spring, Cardimen and his team take out the winter clothes on their bikes and bring spring and summer outfits. They also fill the center formal section with dresses and tuxedos for prom season.
Amid all the changes, Cardimen said she is always on the lookout for new volunteers.
“All you have to do is show up and fill out an application,” she said. “It’s pretty easy to get the days and times you want. Best of all, everyone who volunteers here has a great time.
Flushing residents in need of clothing can register and schedule an appointment with the FCOC by calling 810-487-2223. To see the opening hours of the clothing center, visit flushingchristianoutreach.org.