What woman? Where? Where?
Well, I dare say they are everywhere.
As part of my commitment to the styling sessions at YouthCare, I quickly realized that we'd need to bring in an incredible amount of new and used clothing to adequately supply styling sessions for the Barista Training Program graduates. After all, it is vital that each grad (young men and women who are homeless or formerly homeless) have the chance to choose from pieces that fit and reflect his or her personal style.
The idea is to give them confidence at job interviews and at work. Few of us have a high level of confidence when we are sporting clothes we really don't like. I digress.
Previously, the styling sessions took place every other month. Now, we offer them every month so that every cohort of graduates can participate. 9 youth x 12 months with each attendee leaving with 15 pieces. That's nearly 1,600 pieces of clothing. And naturally, there are loads of other youth who'd love some new pieces, too. We needed a plan.
Enter the VERY generous Poplin Style Direction clients. Every other month a Poplin client hosts a clothing swap to support YouthCare. Friends arrive with clothes to donate and everyone has the opportunity to "shop", socialize and learn more about YouthCare. I attend each swap to help out as needed with styling and sharing stories about the enormous impact the clothes will have on homeless youth.
The last swap yielded over two SUV's filled with clothes and accessories.
And there's more.
Twenty Poplin clients and friends filled two tables at YouthCare's recent luncheon. The event raised over $720,000 to support homeless youth and also included a surprise appearance by YouthCare uber volunteer Macklemore. And one client now serves on the organization's Public Policy Committee. It's truly inspirational. Last year, Nordstrom won the Lego contest by building a robot that could deliver pills to a sick child while comforting him or her with a DeBarge song. The prize? Lego Mindstorms kits from their programmable robot line donated to a local nonprofit. Yup. We can thank a Poplin client for shepherding that donation to YouthCare's program.
Poplin partners have jumped in as well. Baby & Co. offered assistance revamping the clothing closet at YouthCare as well as donating pieces. The Limited at Southcenter will soon host a clothing drive to benefit YouthCare. Customers who donate will receive an invitation to a future Limited event that includes a discount at the store. Ideal Weight Loss in Ballard assists individuals with weight loss and will host a clothing swap for its clients transitioning between sizes. (Genius!) Guess where the extras will go? That's right! YouthCare!
Here's the thing: this is not a celebration of Poplin's accomplishments. It is, in fact, the opposite. People want to give. They want to help. And, just because you care about this spring's biggest shoe trend (white!) does't mean you don't care about helping people. I'm grateful to be surrounded by so many individuals who include me in their work to give back.