Rye YMCA members and friends rallied around Westchester families during a recent children’s clothing drive for The Sharing Shelf in Port Chester. Organized by the Y’s Togetherhood Committee, the project gave members the opportunity to donate seasonal clothing for infants, children, and teens, and to volunteer during a day of service at The Sharing Shelf’s warehouse.
A program of Family Services of Westchester, volunteer-run Sharing Shelf collects new and gently used clothing for newborns through 17 and distributes it at no cost to children in need through social service agencies, teachers, and others. Togetherhood is a YMCA social responsibility initiative that engages Y members in community service.
The project was coordinated by Togetherhood Committee members Mary Ellen Garcia and Kate Beeby. Garcia, a teacher in the Pelham School District, said, “The Sharing Shelf is an ideal project because it’s local, direct, and it’s a great way to give back, make friends, and have fun. We’re encouraged to shop local, so it’s nice to donate local with our time and resources.”
For four days in early February, Rye Y members continuously filled a large box in the Y’s lobby with winter and spring clothing. By the end of the drive, 36 bags and three boxes of clothing had been collected and delivered to The Sharing Shelf. Beeby, a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Mamaroneck, brought eight of those bags from St. Thomas’s thrift shop. Five Togetherhood volunteers worked in the Y’s lobby, accepting, sorting, and picking up donations.
On the morning of Saturday, February 10, another group of Rye Y members — nine adults and teens — arrived at The Sharing Shelf’s warehouse ready to roll up their sleeves and help sort and organize the vast amount of donated clothing that passes through the facility.
“We’re grateful to all of the Y members and friends who made this project a success,” remarked Denise Woodin, the Rye Y’s Director of Community Impact and Social Responsibility. “Thanks to their contributions of clothing, time and positive energy, we were able to make a difference for families who need a helping hand.”
Rye Y Togetherhood Committee member Maria Garcia sorting donated clothes for The Sharing Shelf in Port Chester.
Photo by Hannah Blake