On Saturday, April 18, several hundred local residents turned out to select gently used clothing being distributed by The Clothes Closet, an organization founded by Emma Loebel and Rebecca Ward, 9th graders at Mamaroneck High School.
Recognizing that the needs of the local community had increased in the current economic downtown, the two students decided they had to do something. Because of their mutual interest in clothes, they sent out flyers, contacted friends, alerted the local schools and put posters in local store windows requesting clothing donations. Larchmont stores Pink on Palmer and PDQ Mail Plus agreed to be drop-off points for the donations.
While the Closet was scheduled to open at 11:00 am, by 10:15 there was such a long line of people waiting that the girls decided to open early. No one left empty-handed, as there was a large selection of items for men, women and children. By 3 pm, only a couple of hundred items remained, and these were donated to a shelter in White Plains.
Rebecca Ward was thrilled by the reaction of people finding good quality clothing. “I particularly loved seeing the faces of young kids light up as they selected clothes and walked away with their bags filled,” she said. Beverly Brewer-Villa, area director for Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. , applauded the girls’ efforts. “It’s so heartening to see kids involved in something like this, which is so helpful to families in need,” she said.
Emma and Rebecca hope to make the Clothes Closet an annual event. “Based on the reaction of the people who came, we think that there’s still a huge need, and we plan to do it again next year,” said Emma.
More pictures of the event can be found at mamkclothescloset.blogspot.com
Millie Kellogg has done volunteer work at the CAP Center.