Expanded, renovated space will enable Women Giving Back to provide clothing for work and school to 3,000 women and 6,000 children living in local shelters and supportive housing facilities each year
Sterling, VA – May 23, 2016 – Women Giving Back (WGB), which runs a clothing donation center and store to provide women and children from local shelters with free clothing and accessories, has recently doubled its size with the completion of an addition led by HomeAid Northern Virginia and its builder captain, Knutson Companies. The expansion to the store’s existing retail space in Sterling, Va., essentially doubled the WGB warehouse and store’s capacity and will enable WGB to serve 50 percent more shoppers – vulnerable and at-risk women and children in our community – with clothing and accessories for work and school.
“This addition is really a game-changer. Not only will we double our store hours every month, but importantly, we’ll be able to serve 50 percent more shoppers – 3,000 women and 6,000 children every year,” said Women Giving Back co-founder Terri Stagi. “The project also allowed us to improve egress; add an accessories department; and create a new children’s space where kids can play while their mothers shop for clothes.”
Women and children in local shelters and supportive housing programs shop for work and school clothing at the Women Giving Back store using vouchers provided to them by their case managers. More than 100 local nonprofit organizations such as the Alexandria Community Shelter, Artemis House, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, Northern Virginia Family Services and Youth for Tomorrow send their qualifying clients and residents to Women Giving Back. Volunteer-led WGB opens the doors to its store the second Saturday of each month, and with the new space, will soon be extending its hours to add more regular weekday hours to its monthly schedule.
The $36,000 expansion was recently completed through a collaboration with HomeAid Northern Virginia, which builds and renovates homeless shelters and housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders – enabling nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable communities to invest more of their budgets in supportive programs and services rather than building expenses. HomeAid Northern Virginia, with builder captain Knutson Companies and its network of trade partners, covered 76 percent of the total cost of the WGB project. Women Giving Back was originally founded by a group of passionate organizers within HomeAid Northern Virginia who wanted to supplement the construction and renovation work of HANV by helping the families living in the shelters and supportive housing properties get on their feet with clothes to help them enter the workplace or feel more confident at school. Women Giving Back spun off and became its own independent 501(c)3 nonprofit in May of 2015.
The expanded 7,000 sq. ft. WGB property also includes a warehouse to collect and sort clothing donations. Clothing donations are accepted the second Saturday of the month from 8:30am-12pm, and the preceding Wednesday and Friday from 4:00-6:00pm when volunteers are at the store and warehouse sorting clothing and setting up the store. Volunteers are also invited to help sort clothing, assist families with shopping and coordinate donation drives. The store’s location is 20 Export Drive, Sterling, VA 20164. Alternative times can be arranged by contacting WGB.
Since 2007, WGB has donated more than 300,000 items of clothing to more than 23,000 women and 15,300 children in crisis. The ability to have access to professional clothing for work is key to many women and families, with a single mother recently saying, “There were times when I had to choose between buying clothes and buying food, and, as a mom, of course I chose food. Shopping at WGB was like getting to go to the mall every month, and once I was able to start dressing professionally, I started acting professionally. WGB will always live in my heart.”
WGB officially debuted the expanded Store at their Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, on Thursday, May 5, 2016.
About HomeAid Northern Virginia
HomeAid Northern Virginia, a chapter of HomeAid America, engages the resources and interests of the homebuilding community and its corporate partners in order to undertake new construction and major renovations to properties owned by service providers that help homeless people gain stability and get back on the road to self-sufficiency. The organization was started in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and since then, has completed 107 projects valued at a total of more than $13.6 million and serving more than 95,000 homeless individuals.
About Women Giving Back
Women Giving Back’s mission is to support women and children in crisis, and build their confidence and self-esteem, by providing great quality clothing at no cost, assisted by caring and committed volunteers who offer personalized service and interaction.
Thanks to the construction trade partners that, led by “builder captain” Knutson Companies, contributed labor and resources to the Women Giving Back project: