Paying it forward one clothing item at a time

While serving as the receptionist at one of El Centro de Amistad’s sites, Elizabeth Alvarado would overhear clients remembering when we distributed gently used clothing for families in need. Elizabeth thought how she wanted to give back to the community, remembering how her family was a beneficiary of clothing donations in Mexico.

“My mom used to get donations from our aunts and that’s how she was able to provide for us,” Elizabeth said, who now is paying it forward.

This past fall The Friendly Closet opened its doors, a service where we collect clothing and necessary items for clients and other things they might need. With the blessing from Executive Director Tamika Farr, Elizabeth, who was promoted as the administrative assistant for infant and early childhood mental health program, leads this effort.

She lights up when staff and community friends drop off bags of gently used items, from adult and children clothing to home supplies that are in good condition. “We get a lot of clients who are immigrating and have nothing. Now they get support from us by receiving mental health services and getting basic needs met like clothes,” Elizabeth said. “When I saw a mother, she was so thankful that she could find clothing for her children and also for herself. She was so happy.”“Getting the donations when I was younger helped my mom cover other expenses like paying bills and buying food for us, so I know this is a great contribution to other families.”

How you can help

Donations of gently used clothing and other home appliances are accepted at all locations.

Drop-off Hours: 9 a.m. -11 a.m. or by appointment: 818-370-1448