Free clothes instead of books: Woman creates ‘Love Locker’

March 20, 2021Updated: March 20, 2021 1:37 p.m. Caley Mehs stands in front of a “Love…

Caley Mehs stands in front of a
Caley Mehs stands in front of a “Love Locker” at the Fife Lake library in Fife Lake, Mich., Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The locker offers free seasonal clothing for those in need. Mehs hopes to build more in the Traverse City region. (Mike Krebs/Traverse City Record-Eagle via AP)Mike Krebs/AP

FIFE LAKE, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan woman inspired by seeing tiny free libraries has created a “Love Locker,” a large chest stocked with clothes for anyone who needs them.

Caley Mehs got approval to put the first one outside the library in Fife Lake, a village southeast of Traverse City. Her goal is to have four or five in the region by summer. Buckley probably is next.

“There was no question that this was a great idea and that we should definitely move forward with it,” library director Julie Kintner told the Traverse City Record-Eagle.


Mehs and others collect clothes from people who show interest on social media. There are coats, boots and gloves for winter. The supply will change in warmer months.

“They have the little free libraries everywhere,” said Mehs, 29, of Kingsley. “I thought that was a really cool concept, and I would like to kind of build on that idea and offer winter clothing.”

Dave Gonyer of Gonyer Wood Concepts donated his time for the first locker. But additional chests would likely cost $900 for materials and labor. Mehs is raising money at https://www.gofundme.com/f/love-locker-project.