Ohio Volunteers Provide Children In Crisis With Clothing, Other Essential Necessities
Share What You Wear also aims to help kids who don’t have supplies they need to attend school, including virtually.
'Share What You Wear' volunteers sort, pack and distribute donations to Cleveland neighborhoods and other community partners that desperately need assistance. [via National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland]
Volunteers in Ohio have banded together to help meet the growing needs of children in crisis.
Share What You Wear is a program organized by the National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland that gathers and distributes donations of gently used clothing, toiletries, feminine hygiene products and school supplies.
Started in 2008 as a back-to-school annual event, the program Share What You Wear recently expanded and now houses a community closet in a warehouse where volunteers gather several times a week.
“We noticed a couple years ago there was sort of a change in community need,” NCJW’s Vice President of Community Service Heather Schlang told News 5 Cleveland.
She explained the COVID-19 pandemic then created more challenges for the local community. “When we were watching TV last summer and saw people in line for food… if you can’t afford food, how are you affording clothing?” she said.
Niki Resnick, a program co-chair, noted the lack of school essentials is also an ongoing issue, especially now.
“We’ve heard that there’s a lot of children who do not have what they need to be able to attend school, even virtual school,” she told News 5 Cleveland. “We’ve heard kids don’t even have the proper clothing to get on camera.”
SWYW volunteers pack each donation bag with seasonal wear, such as coats, and three outfits, and even try to customize them by finding out children’s favorite colors, for example. “We want kids to be excited when they open this bag,” Schlang said.
Volunteers then coordinate with various groups — from social work agencies to schools — to distribute the bags.