Hope’s Closet at YWCA needs women’s and children’s items

Each week, Meredith Moss profiles non-profit organizations in our region and their specific needs. If you know of a group that would like to share a wish list with our readers, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

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Hope’s Closet is the wonderful little shop that gives women and children served by the YWCA Dayton a much-needed lift by allowing them the opportunity to select clothes for themselves.

The clients who receive the clothing donations from Hope’s Closet are staying in the YWCA’s domestic violence shelters — one in Montgomery and one in Preble County. They are the only such shelters in either county. Last year, 24,328 nights of emergency protective shelter were provided to 519 women and children in both locations.

“Some women arrive at our shelter with only the clothing they have on. Hope’s Closet helps these women by giving them access to belongings they had to leave behind when they left their homes in search of safety,” explains Jennifer Money, interim shelter coordinator.

Items donated by community members are sorted and arranged by volunteers who also help clients do their shopping. Formerly located in the front of the building at 141 W. Third St., the shop’s recent growth and expansion necessitated a relocation to the north side of the facility’s first floor.

Hope’s Closet was originally established in 2003 by the Junior League of Dayton, a group that was also responsible for helping start the YW’s domestic violence shelter in Dayton in 1977.

“YWCA Dayton has been responding to the needs of women and children for 146 years,” said Audrey Starr, special events and communications manager. “Many changes in our culture and our services have taken place during that time, but our mission remains the same: We are leading the way for every woman to become a driving force behind her own success in a community free of racial and economic barriers.”

Here’s what they need:

  • Hygiene items
  • New baby items such as diapers, wipes, bottles and formula
  • Women's and children's gently used shoes and clothing of all sizes, especially women's plus-size clothing and maternity clothing, as well as clothing for teenage males who reside in shelter
  • Socks and underwear for children and adults
  • Purses, handbags and wallets

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the main YWCA Dayton building, 141 W. Third Street downtown. Donors are asked to pull up at the marked donation door on Wilkinson Street (just around the corner from Third Street) and ring bell for assistance. All donations are tax-deductible.

Honoring special women

YWCA Dayton has also announced that nominations are open for its 2017 Women of Influence (WOI) Awards. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the award; honorees will be recognized during an awards luncheon March 9, 2017. With an average attendance of 800, it’s the single largest daytime nonprofit event in Dayton.

Nominations can be submitted by and for an individual or an organization; self-nominations are also accepted. Honorees are selected by YWCA leadership and the volunteer WOI Committee.

Nominations for the 2017 Women of Influence Awards are due Sept. 16, 2016, at http://bit.ly/YWwoi17. For more information, contact YWCA Dayton at (937) 461-5550 or info@ywcadayton.org.

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