Evelyn Shabman says each client who walks into I Love Our Youth Clothing and More ShareHouse in Yonkers has a different story to tell.
It could be a single mother who can’t afford to buy a crib for her newborn baby or a victim of domestic violence looking for sweaters to keep her children warm, says the 10-year employee there.
It could even be someone undergoing costly cancer treatments. This was the case recently when, after Westchester Medical Center donated a few mastectomy bras to I Love Our Youth, Shabman was able to give them to a woman being treated for breast cancer. Since grueling treatments were also causing the woman to lose weight, the ShareHouse was able to supply her with clothes that fit her shrinking frame.
“She had just got over her chemotherapy treatment,” Shabman remembered of the client. “She was losing a lot of weight and needed clothes that fit.”
Clients like her are referred to I Love Our Youth by nearby charitable organizations including St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Ardsley, the Mental Health Association of Westchester and the Greyston Foundation in Elmsford.
Shabman then sets up appointments for people to browse the clothing, shoes, household items and toys available there. When they arrive, she says she offers to help but respects her clients' space when they need it.
“Every day comes with different people to help,” she said.
Once a month, I Love Our Youth makes clothing deliveries to the Midnight Run in New York City.
Shabman says, “I feel good because I’m making up all the boxes of sweaters, pants and sweatpants and packing them up.”