Thousands of people are expected to converge on the Fairfax District on Sunday, Dec. 4 for the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles’ (NCJW/LA) annual Holiday Clothing Giveaway.
The clothing is collected throughout the year at the council’s eight thrift shops, and is given away free at the annual event. People line up for blocks before dawn in the neighborhood surrounding the NCJW/LA Council House to get first pick at the apparel.
For many recipients, the Clothing Giveaway means the difference in giving and receiving gifts during the holidays, said Bob Klausner, director of retail operations from NCJW/LA. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 543 N. Fairfax Ave.
“I guarantee there will be at least 1,000 people lined up by 6 a.m., and they keep lining up until 1 p.m.” Klausner said. “The need for some of these people is so apparent. It’s unbelievably amazing to see them receiving all the merchandise for free. It’s such an unbelievable feeling for all of us.”
Approximately 75,000 articles of clothing for men, women and children will be given out on Sunday. Stuffed animals and books are also given to children, and a resource fair staffed by social service providers gives recipients information about programs available in the community.
“All of the clothing is donated to the thrift store throughout Los Angeles so the people can be taken care of,” Klausner said. “It’s their Christmas. Just show up and sign in.”
Hillary Selvin, executive director of NCJW/LA, said the annual clothing giveaway is the organization’s biggest charitable event of the year.
“This event fills a tremendous need in the community,” Selvin said. “You have people who are homeless or borderline homeless. There are people who are trying to figure out, ‘Do I get food or do I get clothing?’ This is an amazing project with an opportunity for everyone to volunteer and help their neighbors.”
Volunteers are still being sought to help sort the apparel and for other duties. Selvin said volunteers can show up at the event at 543 N. Fairfax Ave., but she encouraged prospective volunteers to call (323)852-8518 or email email@example.com to let organizers know they are coming. Approximately 250 people volunteer each year, and 3,000 to 5,000 people are expected to receive the clothing.
“It is one of the most rewarding events NCJW/LA hosts every year,” said Helen Davidov, NCJW/LA board president. “It is important to give to those who might not be as fortunate as we are. This event not only provides clothing, books and stuffed animals for families, but also hope.”
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