Lost Closet is a ministry dedicated to assisting women whove
been released from prison by providing them with fashionable
new and gently used clothing appropriate for successful re-emergence
into society. In order for these women to fully celebrate
their freedom and leave their old life behind, they must symbolically
shed the prison scrubs theyve worn during incarceration
and clothe themselves with new garments.
We help each woman recognize her individual God-given beauty
and raise the level of her self-esteem by providing her with
at least one outfit suitable for interviews, work, and church.
She is then able to step out into society without shame or
self-consciousness about her appearance.
1986 Linda Ann White became a Christian and first began to
really listen for God’s voice. Very early in her Christian
experience, Linda heard God calling her to minister to women,
and He has since guided her down many paths where she has
had opportunities to grow her own faith and that of others
as well. One of those opportunities came by way of the Halbert
Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility in Burnet, Texas.
early 2000 while studying God’s word, Linda became inspired
by Matthew 25:36: “I was in prison and you visited me.”
Soon after reading this verse, she began volunteering at the
women’s section of the Burnet prison. Her talents were
used to lead Bible study, worship and praise services, and
choir practices, as well to solicit donations of toiletries
and personal effects for inmates. As a result of her service
to them, Linda developed close relationships with the women.
Her open heart and her willingness to serve others for the
cause of Christ enabled her to see them as sisters with real
lives and real needs far beyond those of other women she’d
worked with in the past.
attitude, along with her keen ear for God’s voice, awakened
in Linda a new awareness about her sisters in Christ. She
began to realize that as many of them walked past the razor
wire gates back into their communities after serving their
time, they had nothing more on their backs than white, prison
issue scrubs. Many of the inmates didn’t have clothes
sent to them by family or friends. She wondered how they were
expected to face job interviews, church, or other social situations.
again turned to God’s word for inspiration, as she often
does, and was led first to Isaiah 52:1-3: “Awake, loose
the bonds; shake yourself from the dust and clothe yourself
with beautiful garments for you have been redeemed without
money.” Then, again, to Matthew 25:36: “I needed
clothes, and you clothed me.”
with a new vision, Linda approached the prison chaplain and
asked what she could do. Together they came up with a form
for inmates to fill out one month before their release requesting
certain articles of clothing and specifying size. Next, she
immediately began soliciting donations and taking orders.
Out of this labor of love, Linda formed a new outreach ministry,
the non-profit organization known as The Lost Closet.
The Lost Closet is dedicated to assisting
women who’ve been released from prison by providing
them with fashionable new and gently used clothing appropriate
for successful re-emergence into society. In order for these
women to fully celebrate their freedom and leave their old
life behind, Linda believes they must symbolically shed the
prison scrubs they’ve worn during incarceration and
clothe themselves with new garments. The ministry helps each
woman recognize her individual God-given beauty and raise
the level of her self-esteem by providing her with at least
one outfit suitable for interviews, work, and church. She
is then able to step out into society without shame or self-consciousness
about her appearance.
In only 6 months of operation, blessings roll in. The church
Linda attends, Leander Assembly of God in Leander, Texas,
donated a building The Lost Closet now calls
home. Here, inventory can be collected, cleaned, pressed,
and organized for quick access. A plus-size fashion retailer
that operates on E-bay recently made a large donation of new
clothing, and monetary donations are increasing. Though this
type of organization can never have too much help, volunteers
continue to become involved by helping with laundry, sorting,
solicitation, and delivery. Some even act as stylists, pulling
together trendy outfits from the assortment of donated clothing.
More and more women are leaving the Burnet facility fashionably
outfitted and full of hope for their futures. As the effects
of the ministry spread throughout the state and even the nation,
interest and recognition have increased. The Lost
Closet now has workshops scheduled to train others
how to start Lost Closet programs in their communities. Additionally,
Linda was awarded the 2005 Texas Governor’s Criminal
Justice Religious Service Volunteer Award for her unique program.
his letter of congratulations to Linda upon receiving her
award, perhaps Gilbert Campuzano, Regional Director of the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said it best:
“The development of The Lost Closet
program at the Halbert Unit is certainly making a positive
impact on offenders’ perception of self and self-esteem.
Many times, our perception of how others see us influences
our behavior as much or more than our own perceptions of ourselves.
Though it might seem trivial to some, being able to leave
the correctional environment in clothing that is coordinated,
fits well, and is in good repair allows individuals to leave
their incarceration behind with heads held high. …Thank
you for the development of this worthwhile program. Your continued
support of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and its
mission is greatly appreciated.”
(For the mailing address, please use the P.O. Box)
1006 South 183
Leander, Texas 78643