The 7th bi-annual clothing project is well on its way in more than 50 cities throughout Russia and Ukraine, a joint initiative of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC) , the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) and Gloria Jeans clothing company.
Under the project, clothing gift card certificates will be distributed to the most needy Jewish families in each participating city. Overall about 5,000 Jewish children will be able to purchase new quality clothes for the winter from the Gloria Jeans franchise.
The joint project began in the fall of 2012 with the idea of providing much needed help to the most vulnerable members of the communities: children with social and health disabilities, children from a one-parent home, children from low-income families. This year, thanks to the continuous support of the project partners, the gift cards are distributed in 33 cities in Russia and 20 cities in the Ukraine.
Also, a truck full of clothes was shipped to the war- stricken city of Lugansk for 133 children. “Usually, the children get gift cards to purchase clothes at the store, but there isn’t a way to use them in Lugansk, so we sent a truck of Gloria Jeans clothing from its warehouse in Rostov-on-Don,” said Irina Chorosh, manager of the project at FJC.
The gift cards enable each child to obtain a full set of clothes and footwear for the season, once in the fall and once in the spring. The fall season is especially important, as winters are severe in most parts of the region and many children suffer from being inadequately dressed.
Aside from the much needed help for the families, the Clothing Project also brings joy and helps build confidence. “Instead of being handed clothes at random, children can go to the store themselves, shop for the styles they like and walk away with a sense of joy and self-esteem, ” said FJC Director David Mondshine. “This, in a way, provides much more than just clothing for these children.”