The Free Shopping Opportunity for Disadvantaged Teenaged Girls Took Place April 28
Communities often come together under difficult circumstances, working together toward a common goal. On Sunday, April 28th, members of the Westchester community came together not to overcome, but to do something good. The Sharing Shelf, a program of Family Services of Westchester, under the leadership of Deborah Blatt, partnered with the Junior League of Central Westchester and several other local community partners to bring joy to the lives of nearly 100 girls from families living in financial distress.
These community leaders and volunteers teamed up to create Girl-Topia, a special one-day shopping boutique designed for girls ages 13 to 18 years old. Organizers brought in and displayed thousands of donated new and gently used spring and summer shirts as well as shorts, pants, jackets, skirts, dresses, shoes, handbags and jewelry and set up shop in the VFW Hall in Mount Vernon. Volunteers from Sephora joined the event, providing free makeovers. Attendees arrived from throughout Westchester, including the surrounding community of Mount Vernon and Yonkers, as well as White Plains and as far away as Sleepy Hollow. Each attendee was given a certificate entitling her to choose more than a week’s worth of outfits plus a choice of jewelry. Each left with a gift bags stuffed with beauty supplies and accessories.
The Sharing Shelf regularly collects clothing for infants, youth and teens, distributing it free of charge to children county-wide through more than 25 schools, social service agencies, hospitals and community programs. “We found that while we were serving so many children and teens, teenage girls were not taking advantage of our program. I decided that we needed to bring the clothing to them and allow the girls to choose what they liked best,” says Deborah Blatt.
Community partners were key to the event’s success. “The Junior League of Central Westchester has been a proud partner with Family Services of Westchester for many years on a variety of programs. Girl-topia, in particular, is an ideal fit with our mission to provide community services to women and families. For me personally, it is so rewarding to help girls in need and to have my daughter (who also volunteered) experience that same sense of giving and caring.” said Mei Morin, Chair of the League’s Done-In-a-Day Committee.
The Sharing Shelf plans to continue this event in the Fall, partnering with other community groups. If you would like to get involved, please reach out to The Junior League of Central Westchester’s Mei Morin at email@example.com or The Sharing Shelf’s Deborah Blatt at firstname.lastname@example.org.