PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Nearly 70 underprivileged girls got the chance to stock up on clothes and accessories at a free shopping spree at GIRL-TOPIA on Saturday at the Port Chester Girl Scout House.
The girls came from all over Westchester County and ranged in age from 9 to 18, including a few teenage moms.
“I was moved to tears when I saw these teenage girls shopping with their moms or their Big Sister mentors,” Gerry Goldberg, director of volunteers and development outreach for Family Services of Westchester, said in a press release. One mother told Goldberg that her daughter owned only one pair of jeans. She left GIRL-TOPIA with three more pairs of jeans, a coat, shirts and sweaters.
About 1,700 items of clothing, 70 coats and more than 100 pairs of shoes were distributed to the attendees. In addition, two volunteers from Anthropologie provided fashion advice and applied tailoring skills when necessary, using a sewing machine to alter jeans to fit girls of varying heights.
GIRL-TOPIA was organized by Deborah Blatt, program coordinator of the Sharing Shelf of Family Services of Westchester, along with New Rochelle High School senior Caroline Stoerger.
Girls from Stoerger’s Girl Scout Troop 1856 spent the day helping organize clothes, checking out the “customers” and decorating the Girl Scout House. Stoerger helped organize GIRL-TOPIA to obtain her Gold Award, the highest achievement for a Girl Scout.
“We were thrilled with the success of this event,” Blatt said. “It was a fun way to help these teenage girls handpick the clothes they need and want, and we were delighted by the support of some retailers and volunteers.” Blatt hopes to organize another GIRL-TOPIA event in January.