What motivates a volunteer? Is it the cause? Or the memory of a loved one? A gigantic heart? Or is it the glowing feeling of recognizing the needs of others and that your passion is significant to help others during a difficult time.
Tammy Hunt of Brantford is all of the above.
In 2006 Tammy started a basement philanthropic gesture. ‘The Closet Door’, inspired by the efforts of the Brantford General Hospital to give solace and comfort to cancer victims trying to overcome a desperate adversity they had not planned on. She collected used clothing and by selling them generated funds to contribute to improve the quality of life as patients`attended the BGH Cancer Care Clinic.
The business model became more than her basement could handle so she opened ‘The Closet Door’ in 2014 at the east end of Colborne St. in the back of a tackle shop.
Her Mother Diane passed from cancer and that was additional incentive to help others.
100% of her profits are donated to the BGH Clinic specifically and she directs the purpose to which it is given.
Hunt says, “I try to bring a positive impact to the patients. The symbolism of the door is that it is open for a cause…and everyone has a closet, so they know what treasures are kept there”
When she had to move, she searched for another location and settled on 41 St. George St., across from Graham Bell School. They open officially on Saturday February 2. They carry up-to-date quality clothing, gently used, in all sizes as available, including plus size for both men…
A visitor described that the store has higher quality choices for the most reasonable prices as compared to any other similar outlets.
In addition there is refurbished furniture,
shoes, handbags and jewelry.
But her contributions don’t end there, despite tens of thousands of dollars donated so far. Tammy is a beacon of caring. She is an advocate for education about cancer and through her various fundraisers has a volunteer staff of 10 working the store, many more within the community searching and sorting donations and helping at events. She offers a ‘safe place’ for the LGBTQ community and directly assists and consults with the BGH Cancer Care Clinic. She has created a small army of equally minded caregivers to run events like ‘Beer Fest’, ‘Loonie Toonie’ for men’s prostate cancer education and support. She donates the remaining clothing to other local facilities for them to re-purpose.
In order to build the new storefront, a list of additional volunteers stepped up and Tammy wanted to publicly recognize them: Steve Ferlatte, Richard Casey, Alysha
Santana, Matt Joniec, Scott Gibson, Ryan Campbell, Dylan Lawrie, Jan Vanderstelt, Victoria Young and Shawn Ferreira.
On one wall is a large chalkboard, her ‘Wall of Recognition’.
Every customer signs their name to recognize the cause they are contributing to. Tammy will never erase that board and prefers to paint over it when it is packed with signatures in order to keep the essence of their kindness embedded into the wall.
Tammy summarizes her vision as, ” It has always been to see the Cancer Care Clinic evolve when patients and their families can continue their journey in a loving space and where their wishes be granted in part as a result of opening The Closet Door into their hearts.