Father Gene’s Provides Jeans to the People


Shannon Damuth

Volunteers at Father Gene’s Help Center sort through donated clothing items.

Shannon Damuth, Wauwatosa West Staff Reporter

Women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing in all shapes and sizes donated to Father Gene’s Help Center not only serve as free clothing to those in need in the Greater Milwaukee area, but they also provide a sense of dignity.

Father Gene’s was founded in 1969 and has since been incorporated as a tax-exempt organization and relocated to its current location in West Allis. People in need can receive donated clothing through personally styled boxes available by phone call or client shopping available by appointment. Client shopping takes place in the building’s front room, and volunteers work in the warehouse in the back of the building.

“I know the difference that clothing makes for me, being able to put on something that helps me stand a little taller, carry my head a little higher, and then when I see someone else doing that in the front room, it feels like we are doing what we are supposed to be doing,” said Executive Director of Father Gene’s Help Center Jessica Luebbering.

Luebbering is the first full-time staff person to work at Father Gene’s. Her jobs include facilitating the client shopping experience up in the front, coordinating volunteers in the back, and keeping the building up and running.

Wauwatosa West’s Key Club has been volunteering at Father Gene’s weekly since November 11th. With 12 slots available each week, many members are experiencing the joy that the organization gives to the community.

“The other employees and volunteers were very helpful as I was learning where clothing pieces went, and they were super nice throughout the whole time I was there,” explained Wauwatosa West freshman volunteer Molly Frost when asked about the support she was given when sorting donations.

“I helped sort through clothes, and I got to help pick out some clothes for someone. I would do it again, and would recommend other people to do it too!” shared another West freshman volunteer Addison Bott.

Father Gene’s takes women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing in all shapes and sizes but are short in much-needed items.

“Things that we are most in need of right now are plus size items, winter coats and jackets, and children’s clothes in all sizes,” Luebbering explains.

If you are looking to help, there are many volunteering positions available, from working directly with clients to working behind the scenes with donations. Hours are relatively flexible, and Father Gene’s is able to accommodate to your availability.

To sign up for volunteering like Tosa West’s Key Club, schedule an appointment, or drop off donations, check out Father Gene’s Help Center’s website.

In the spirit of giving, consider volunteering or donating to support your community during the Holidays.