Give Your Best Gives Women Refugees the Opportunity to Shop Donated Clothes Online for Free
At Dare PR, we love initiatives helping marginalised communities - which is why we are so proud to work with Give Your Best. With the festive season starting, we hope anyone reading this will connect to the great work they do, and will feel extra generous this year.
Give Your Best provides an online platform for women who are refugees, seeking asylum, destitute or who have no recourse to public funds, to browse and order clothes for free.
The online catalogue has seen over 7800 items donated by people across the UK so those in need of clothing can choose and order the items for free.
In September 2020, founder and social entrepreneur Sol Escobar started the initiative with two volunteers, using Instagram as the main platform to showcase the catalogue of donated clothes. Today, the group has grown to a core team of 70 female volunteers, including asylum seekers and refugees. GYB aims to empower people in need of women’s clothing through access to choice.
This is how Give Your Best works:
Donors are asked to fill in a form and send images and basic information of their best items, which are uploaded by the GYB volunteer team and made available on the free shop. ‘Shoppers’ register via the Give Your Best website and choose items they’d like to receive. ‘Shopped’ items of clothing are then either sent from the donor to the shopper or sent to Give Your Best who distributes the items; this is entirely the choice of the shopper. If the shopper does not have an address or would rather not disclose that information, they can collect their clothing from a drop-off point (such as a local charity shop or foodbank).
Since the initiative was established in September 2020, over 7800 items have been donated, over 7000 have been shopped, with over 550 women registered.
This initiative started during the COVID-19 lockdown, when Give Your Best founder, Sol Escobar, sent a parcel of toiletries, menstrual products and clothing to a household of women seeking asylum in Wales. She had connected with one woman in her role as Chair of the Refugee Support Committee at Cambridge University. Sol put a call out for donations on social media and received so many offers of clothing that she came up with a system to ensure the women could choose what they wanted to receive and in doing so established Give Your Best. The non-profit has also organised ad-hoc campaigns such as Gift Your Tech where old laptops, tablets and phones are re-homed with women in the GYB community, and the festive campaign Gift Your Best, which saw 270 people sign up to send a surprise gift to a refugee or asylum seeking woman.
Founder Sol Escobar said, “We believe that someone’s legal status and financial circumstances shouldn’t mean a lack of choice in what they want to wear. At Give Your Best, a donation becomes a gift: the gift of choice, of empowerment and connection with the person sending the item.”
Give Your Best is also developing their brand partnerships and “recycling services” whereby brands can re-home their unsold stock in a sustainable and socially impactful way with GYB.
Here is some of the feedback they have received from ‘shoppers’ so far:
‘On behalf of the girls who live with me and on my behalf as well, we want to thank you for such impressive work and above all because they give us hope knowing that there are still people with huge hearts who support people who come to this country in search of help, knowing that in our countries we are in danger.’
‘Thank you for the lovely parcel, I was excited to open and see all my favourite things, especially much needed stuff and I chose all of it according to my needs. And a lovely note from your team! You guys are doing a great job. This whole experience of selecting from a beautiful collection is a wonderful shopping experience. Keep it up! An amazing idea”
‘Thank you for this wonderful service and community. The lovely cards and messages. We don’t feel alone anymore’
Want to make a donation to Give Your Best? Monetary or clothing donations can be made via the Give Your Best website www.giveyourbest.uk
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