Our Sister's Closet gives clients access to clothing
By Marijke Fakasiieiki
Our Sister's Closet, the clothing outlet through YWCA Spokane at 930 N. Monroe, invites clients to access services.
As businesses open for in-person staff and as women need clothing because of domestic violence or homelessness, YWCA Spokane offers help "shopping" for casual and professional clothes so women can restore self-esteem for job interviews, pay raises and surviving trauma.
"We want people to know this resource is available," said Teresa Dixon, YWCA Spokane women's opportunity center services coordinator.
Our Sister's Closet schedules appointments from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Fridays for people to come in the next Monday to Thursday. Face masks are required and child care provided on request.
Appointments entail an hour and a half to shop with a volunteer personal shopper.
"For women who need support, it's nice having someone who can guide the way," she said.
Women don't need to be homeless or in dire straits to access the service.
"Some own homes but find it hard to make ends meet with taking care of a family," Teresa said. "It's here to support people through a growth process. Some are beginning their journey. Others need help once in a while.
"We love to hear the resource advanced someone's career. Some use it to find a job. Some use it once they are in a job. After building skills and experience, some use it to advance their career. They need different clothes for that purpose," Teresa said.
"Sometimes that first job is a step letting a woman know she can do something," she said. "Sometimes we want more for our lives than the first job."
Information on what to donate and how is at ywcaspokane.org. There are also donation drives. Donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays at 930 N. Monroe. Organizations can host clothing and necessity drives.
Our Sister's Closet seeks professional wear and every day casual wear, because of the diverse women they serve.
"Not everyone needs clothes for work. A domestic violence survivor who has fled with just the clothes on her back, might need everyday clothes—jeans, leggings and tennis shoes are popular items," said Teresa.
Volunteers assemble care packages for clothing and hygiene needs requested by advocates or social service professionals.
The YWCA has drives for specific needs. January is for deodorant and shaving supplies; March, packaged socks; May, panties; July, shampoo and conditioner sets; September, new and gently used leggings; November, new and gently used coats.
Volunteer opportunities are limited because they are at capacity, but there will be some openings later in the year.