The New Neighbors Partnership matches refugee, asylee, and asylum-seeking families with local New York City families who have slightly older kids and can pass on hand-me-down clothing donations on a regular basis. This initiative provides ongoing support to families who usually receive (at most) three months of government agency assistance when they first arrive in the United States.
Kids grow quickly, families have continuous need for children's clothing, and New York City non-profits lack the manpower to run continuous clothing drives and sort donations, as well as the space to store donations - with the NNP, clothes go directly from the families that have them to the families that need them.
Additionally, more than half of clothing ends up in a landfill within a year of being manufactured. Ensuring clothes are reused protects our environment from needless waste.
Hand-me-down partnerships have been established between New York families and newly-resettled families from Afghanistan, Guinea, Ukraine, Central African Republic, China, Ghana, Egypt, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Chad, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Burkina Faso, Russia, El Salvador, Tanzania, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Azerbaijan.
Shoshana Akabas holds and M.F.A. from Columbia University and worked with refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. and Middle East.
Dr. Emily Moore holds a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center. She is an English teacher and Brooklyn-based mother of two.