OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – A cabinet filled with odds and ends for basic needs was just a thought before it became a reality at a local library in Wisconsin.

A repurposed card catalog now serves as a Comfort Cabinet at the Oshkosh Public Library – allowing anyone to come into the building and pick up necessities that are not typical with public assistance programs.

Organizers say it will be stocked with items ranging from soap and feminine products to hats and hand warmers.

What sparked the change?

The library told Local 5 that its staff took a tour of the Day By Day Warming Shelter and that’s what started it all.

“One of the things that the shelter does is providing these items to its guests and so we had a discussion among library staff about how can we help support what they’re already doing and also support library patrons that also come here,” explained Kim Hoffman with the Oshkosh Public Library.

Hoffman went on to say one of the library staff actually came up with the idea.

Who can use it?

Organizers say the cabinet is open to anyone in need – you also don’t need a library card and there will be no questions asked.

“The Day by Day Shelter isn’t open all the time. And part of what they do is do outreach where they physically go to places where they think people experiencing homelessness might be and they get those supplies to those people. But they don’t catch everyone. And these supplies are available any time the library is open,” said Hoffman.

Anyone who walks into the library can find it right next to the first-floor reading room.

How can you help?

The cabinet itself will be restocked by the nearby Day By Day Warming Shelter staff.

The shelter is actively accepting donations that can go into the Comfort Cabinet. Those items can be dropped off at the Day by Day Warming Shelter at 449 High Avenue in Oshkosh.

Other than monetary donations, it does have a current needs list for physical items that can be found here