New Neighbors Clothing Partnership matches newly-arrived refugee families with local NYC families who can pass on hand-me-down clothing donations from their own children to their new neighbors.
Refugees only receive three months of resettlement agency support when they arrive, after which they often struggle. By matching refugee families with local families, we create connections for ongoing support, eliminate the difficulty non-profit organizations face of storing donations in NYC (since with our model, clothes go directly from the family that has to the family that needs), and ensure high quality contributions (since donors know the family they're donating to, quality tends to be higher).
In the last 12 months, we've served over 50 recently-arrived refugee children with over $25,000 worth of clothing donations from 70+ partner families. Our refugee client families come from Afghanistan, Chad, Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Honduras, Philippines, Guinea, and Central African Republic.
In my eight years of experience volunteering for resettlement agencies, one of the main issues I noticed was the time investment for caseworkers to run clothing drives and issues storing donations. NNCP allows caseworkers to focus on legal matters, finding jobs and apartments for their clients, because they know clothing will be taken care of. The other big issue I noticed is how much trouble refugees have once the agencies are no longer helping (after just three months!). Giving them a contact in the local community helps them feel supported and ensures they don't have to worry about clothes for their kids for at least a few years. Our client families are identified by caseworkers at IRC, HIAS, and Catholic Charities (three of the major refugee resettlement agencies in NY) - they enroll their neediest families in our initiative.
AwesomeNYC's $1,000 grant will allow NNCP to expand the number of volunteer coordinators it has access to and provide additional translation services to be able to serve even more refugee families in NYC.
Funded by New York City, NY (April 2019)