Sharing Shelf clothing bank for children marks 10th anniversary with expanded warehouse


From left, Jennifer Perri (volunteer coordinator), Nancy Barr, Shelley Mayer, Kathy Ellis (assistant director), Deborah Blatt (founder, program director), Damon Maher, Polly Kerrigan (acting CEO, Family Services of Westchester) and Gerry Goldberg (co-founder).

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by the Sharing Shelf.

Nearly 60,000 Westchester children live in low-income homes and many of them cannot afford to buy clothing for their growing children as they try to meet the basic needs of shelter and food. The lack of access to clean and seasonally appropriate clothing contributes to chronic absenteeism at school, further fueling the cycle of poverty.

The Sharing Shelf’s mission is to help break that cycle.

The Sharing Shelf, Westchester’s Clothing Bank for Children, marked its 10th anniversary on October 24th with a ribbon cutting for their newly expanded warehouse at 47 Purdy Avenue in Port Chester, NY. The program, which started in a borrowed basement has now fills a 4,300 square foot warehouse.

The Sharing Shelf relies on volunteers, community groups and corporations that generously donate time, goods and financial support. Clothing is distributed through a vast network of Westchester nonprofits, social workers, therapists, teachers and attorneys that enable the clothing bank to serve 250 children per month. The children each receive a week’s worth of seasonally appropriate clothing matched to their sizing needs.

Pelham resident, Kathy Ellis, has worked as the Assistant Director of The Sharing Shelf for the past 3 years. “I  experienced the incredible impact of The Sharing Shelf as a volunteer 9 years ago. Now, through my work, I see first-hand how our presence fills a void and addresses a critical need in Westchester County.”

Since its inception, The Sharing Shelf has distributed almost 400,000 children’s clothing items and essentials distributed to 16,800 Westchester children in low-income or homeless situations. The program has also provided over 8,000 backpacks through its Backpacks to School program. The clothing bank relieves a financial burden for struggling families and enables children to feel valued, safe and ready to learn.

“Our new expansion will allow us to more easily address the issue of clothing insecurity among local children,” stated founder and Director Deborah Blatt. “We look forward to building our reach and bringing our community together to benefit children in need.”