Since the Women Giving Back (WGB) Store opened in 2007, its volunteers have distributed more than 50,000 items of clothing to women and children from 100+ shelters in Northern Virginia. The overall goal—helping transitionally homeless women get free, professional clothing so they can more easily re-enter the workplace—has been an enormously successful enterprise.
And now, it will enjoy the stability of a more permanent home thanks to the May 13 dedication of a 5,400+ square foot store, located at 20 Export Drive in Sterling. The new space, leased at a very competitive rate with the support of HomeAid Northern Virginia and sponsors, was converted from raw warehouse space into a store by Builder Captain Toll Brothers and a team of 25 trade partners
The project, with a total retail value exceeding $89,000, included installation of demising walls, HVAC, a bathroom and children’s play area, fitting rooms, plumbing and electrical, front entrance way, sprinkler system, painting and lighting.
Bill Gilligan, regional president for Toll Brothers, noted that the project was a great new experience: “Although this wasn’t our first project with HomeAid, this was the first time many of our contractors worked in a retail/commercial setting. It was a terrific experience to tap into the experience of others and do something so different. But I can’t even begin to equate our work with the work that HomeAid and the WGB volunteers put in every few weeks to improve so many people’s lives. It’s a fantastic initiative.”
More than 60 people attended the dedication, with Loudoun County Supervisor Scott York addressing the group, along with Karren, a resident from the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter and a WGB Store recipient.
On Saturday, May 14, 22 Store volunteers opened the doors to a record-breaking 170 shoppers. “It was one of the biggest shopping days in our history,” said Terri Stagi, vice president of Jack Morris Advertising, Inc. “With a new location, we thought it might be slow, but by 9:00 a.m., we were packed, and by 9:30, we were sending volunteers to pull more clothing out from inventory. We were thrilled to see that about 75 percent of our shoppers were new, coming from 20 different shelters as far away as Woodbridge.”
Also in May, WGB hosted a hugely successful Cinco de Mayo fundraiser, which this year netted more than $20,000 in donations—a big increase over last year’s $6,000.
The WGB Store will continue to open on the second Saturday of each month, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. If you would like to donate clothing, or support WGB through a sponsorship, please contact HomeAid Northern Virginia at email@example.com.
|Thanks to Builder Captain Toll Brothers and to all of the trade partners!|
|Advanced Flooring & Design||HDS Drywall & Painting|
|Allied Building Supply||Heritage Contracting|
|Atlas Plumbing||Jensen Fire Protection|
|Broad Run||L&P Carpentry|
|Buhl Electric||My Maids|
|Cardinal Glass||New York Concrete|
|Charles A. Klein & Sons||Scott Johnson Enterprises|
|Dulles Electric Supply Corp.||Southland Insulators|
|Eastern Applicators||Sunbelt Rentals|
|Helping Moms in a Brand New Way
Homeless shelters’ youngest residents are getting extra attention now with the arrival of a new organization in town: DC Diaper Bank. This new resource was founded in October 2010 and provides a reliable and adequate supply of free diapers to families in need living in the Washington, D.C., area. The DC Diaper Bank raises awareness about the need for diapers as a basic necessity, collects diapers through community events and fundraisers, and distributes diapers to those families through a network of social service agencies. (Currently, the DC Diaper Bank is working in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank to deliver diapers to eight non-profit organizations in DC, Maryland and Virginia. As resources increase, the DC Diaper Bank plans to add more partnerships with social service organizations.) To learn how to become part of the DC Diaper Bank’s partner distribution network, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the DC Diaper Bank, please visit www.dcdiaperbank.org.