Calling all men!

Dear Editor:
Although I do not want to jinx it, it finally feels like spring is here. As you are going through your winter clothing to put away for the season, please keep in mind our amazing Hoboken Shelter for the homeless. This weekend as we were packing away our winter clothes, I was thinking about an experience I had there this past Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving, I had the amazing honor to spend most of the day alongside a huge crowd of volunteers at the shelter. While there, one of our tasks was to help group and organize all of the wonderful donations that the shelter had received that filled the floor of the upstairs area where the residents of the shelter sleep at night. These included non-perishable foods, paper goods, hygiene products, and clothing. My focus was the clothing – grouping what felt like thousands of items by category – men, women and children – and then by type – tops, bottoms, sweaters, jackets, etc. At the end we filled an area on the second floor that was probably twice the size of most of our living rooms.
But what struck me the most, was that only about 15 percent of the clothing was for men, when the room downstairs was filled only with men who were homeless. Later in the evening families came to the Shelter for dinner, but still overall about 90 percent of those taking in the services of the shelter were/are men. When I asked the woman overseeing us about this, she told me that the shelter absolutely finds homes for all the clothing that is donated, but they would love to see more donations of men’s clothes. And I’ll never forget what she then said “that tie that may have gotten someone a job, but is no longer worn, can help one of their residents get a job”. Such a simple, but impactful statement.
So calling all men! (or your wives, sisters, girlfriends, or moms) As you spring clean, consider recycling your wardrobe. Think of the men at the Hoboken Shelter who would put to much better use that tie that you do not wear anymore…that coat that does not quite fit anymore (and probably never will) … that pair of jeans that are oh so last year…that suit you used to wear before your office went business casual… or one of your many pairs of shoes that you do not wear that much anymore…. Clothing that you were once proud to wear, give to someone so that they can feel the same way.
Donating is easy – just make sure the items are clean and gently worn at most, and pack them up and take them to the shelter at 300 Bloomfield, entrance on 3rd. Donations are taken every day between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. You just walk in the side door and leave with empty hands.
And ladies, do not stop donating what you do. Everything donated finds a good home.

Thank you,
Tiffanie Fisher


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