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Volunteering with Housing Works

July 25, 2010

A few days ago was my first day volunteering with Housing Works. For those of you who do not know what Housing Works is I’ll tell – it is one of the coolest social enterprises in New York City. They are a non-for-profit but run as a profit – and all their money goes to helping people with HIV/AIDS and to homeless people. They also run an on-line auction very similar to e-bay with all kinds of really cool stuff. Any vintage fun should check them out.

So yesterday I was stuffing bags full of clothes. A custom company that had gone out of business donated their gazillion of pieces of clothing to Housing Works and there I was with a bunch of other folks stuffing away bags full of clothing. Everything gets shipped to Housing Works warehouse in Queens and from there distributed to stores. I was told of it that most of it will probably go to their stores in Haiti, which apparently are only open a few times a month as every time they are open they sell out!

So why I am I doing this? Well, I am not working right now so I may as well spend my time doing something useful. But I very like their way of running their organization and it is great knowing that one can actually have a positive impact in the lives of people who have HIV/AIDS or currently homeless.

But I also very much like what they sell and – of course – you already know this – I love design and especially visual merchandising so this is away to offer some of my skills and also get some more experience. The added bonus is that they people who work for Housing Works stores are a really cool bunch of folks so that makes it even more fun!

Does anyone know of there cool social enterprises and did anyone have a cool volunteer experience? Would love to hear!

These two cool “grails” I got in their store on the Upper West Side for six bucks!

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