The stores that helped since Day One were Katia, Elements, Blonde, Sharon Segal, Kalifornia Jean Bar, Gypsy , and Zabayon. The rest of the brands and stores jumped into help once they saw what I was doing. Just about everyone I reached out to were willing to help, just a lot of stores were closed for a while. I have received many thank you cards, pictures and messages telling me how happy these gifts have made them during such a hard time. I also gave one mom an Xbox for her kids because she didn’t want anything for herself. So many have told me they can’t wait to be able to wear these pieces out and show them off.
Do you know how many you’ve been able to help?
Thousands. It would be hard to count exactly because so many have been shipped by stores, dropped off by me, picked up from my house. Boxes sent to hotels for medical personnel to be split up by the organizers in New York. Along with the stores we’ve shipped to thousands of nurses in almost every state plus Canada. Some received gift bags including over $5,000 worth of gifts. We really wanted to focus on nurses working in the COVID unit but just about every nurse that messaged me were gifted clothing. Unfortunately there were a few that I didn’t have sizes for so I sent them restaurant gift cards.
What have you realized through this project?
That anyone can use their channels to help others. If I worked in the restaurant industry I would be sending food to thank medical personnel. So many of these stores gave so much during the tough times they have ever faced, they wanted to help with nothing at all in return. We have been able to add so much joy to people’s lives right now when they are working nonstop and risking their lives. I grew up really poor so it feels good to be able to give back during such a tough time.
What do you think your role is at the moment, continuing forward?
One nurse has been calling me the Fairy GodFather to nurses but I guess my role right now has been an organizer. I hope to continue to do my part as long as I can. With a baby on the way soon, I would imagine I will have to step away, but I hope to come back to it. Hopefully this will be over but I will be able to help my local community.
What personal message do you want to share? How can others help during this time?
That anyone can help, no matter what industry you work in there is something you can give back. This is a very tough time for my industry but so many have it much worse. If you’re a broker you can waive part of your commission to medical personnel or anyone in need. If you own hotels you can offer discounted rates, restaurants or almost any industry. I hope after all of this is over we can all appreciate life more and just be nicer to others. I would tell others to dig deep and see what they can do to help, I promise everyone has the tools to help out in one way. At least give it a shot and see what you can do. I never expected this to take off like it has, I don’t think anyone did.