3rd Annual HEART Clothing Swap a Success for People and the Planet

For the third year in a row HEART educator, Ali Berman, organized a fundraising event that is designed to do so much more than just raise funds. The annual HEART clothing swap doubles as an eco event and triples as a donation drive for those in need, making it fit perfectly in line with HEART’s mission, to help people, animals and the environment.
 
Attendees are asked to bring clothing, shoes and accessories that they no longer want. For a modest ticket price, they come in, drop off their items with our volunteer sorters and go look through all the other items that their fellow attendees brought with them. People are allowed to take as much as they give. Some use it as an opportunity to revamp their whole wardrobe and others use it as an excuse to clean out their closet, taking home much less than they brought.
 
That’s the eco part: reusing perfectly good shirts, skirts and dresses instead of going out to the store to buy new. In the classroom, we love teaching the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. But we have noticed that the first 2 R’s often get the least attention by the general public. If we reduce, then we create less trash across the board. If we reuse, we are taking advantage of what already exists. No extra energy or resources required. These are two very important parts of keeping the planet healthy for all species.
 
HEART partners with Trinity Lower East Side, a church in lower Manhattan that, during the week, runs a soup kitchen. Pastor Phil, who generously donates the space for the swap each year, lets the folks at the soup kitchen and the women at the local women’s shelters know that after the swap they are free to come in and take what they want. This way, those who might not be able to afford clothing can come in and take what they like for themselves and their families.
 
While thousands of items are brought into the swap, we end up with almost nothing left. We’re so grateful to our attendees, HEART staff, volunteers and the church for making this event happen. And to our sponsors who really help us get the word out: Ecorazzi, Vaute Couture and Girlie Girl Army.
 
Yes, it’s a fundraiser and it helps HEART fund our programs and services. But, at the end of the day, this event is so much more. It’s a way of building community around doing good for others. That’s the message we hope that everyone takes home…as well as some cool new threads.

1 thought on “3rd Annual HEART Clothing Swap a Success for People and the Planet”

  1. Cheryl C. Ploski

    We so enjoy swapping and knowing that someone in need will get those items that may be left. It is a good reason to clean our closets. Looking forward to coming again next year.

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