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Kody’s Closet has held a benefit, a silent auction and a golf tournament in the past 10 months, but most products are donated. There are drop-off sites in several cities.
The organization is awaiting federal tax status as a nonprofit, which will allow them to apply for grants, Thorn said. Another option is for individuals or groups to sponsor a closet.
Through Jan. 25, the 70 chapters of the Minnesota Women of Today are collecting items for Kody’s Closet as part of their annual “Buckets of Sunshine” project. The Burnsville, Eagan and Savage Women of Today chapters are also sponsoring the Burnsville High School closet.
Stacy Pearson, past president of the Savage Women of Today, said that with many service projects, they “walk away and don’t really know how it affected people.” With Kody’s Closet, it’s great “to hear that a real student was touched by what we did and that we were able to make a difference.”
For Thorn, each closet is a tribute to her son. Kody’s friends nicknamed him “Kodiak” because at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, he was built like a bear. To commemorate Kody, each closet has bear prints on the outside, along with his picture and a mission statement on the inside.
Kody’s death was a shock to those who knew him. Friends say he only tried heroin once, but it was one time too many.
“[All of the closets] mean the world to me,” Thorn said. “When I put a closet in, it has an emotional tie to all of us, to my son, and all kids that can use this to make them feel good.”
To learn more about Kody’s Closet or to get involved, see www.kodyscloset.org.
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283