Nestled in the hustle and bustle of Penn Plaza, there is an elevator (one of twelve) that takes you to the biggest closet in Manhattan. In a city renowned for its shoe-box-sized storage, the appeal of this particular closet is not so much in its size, but in its purpose.
Bags of donate-able clothing in hand, we were greeted with words of inspiration upon entering Bottomless Closet’s office, among them “hope”, “career”, and “freedom.” To learn about Bottomless Closet, we met with Executive Director Kendall Farrell. The mission of Bottomless Closet is to help disadvantaged New York City women become self-sufficient through a comprehensive program that begins with business attire and interview preparation and continues with professional development, financial management, and personal enrichment.
Bottomless Closet assists an average of 20 women per day, totaling at 3,000 women per year, 65% of whom are successfully placed after their visit to Farrell and her team. A volunteer-driven organization, Bottomless Closet relies on client referrals from organizations for women, human resources and career counseling professionals, and clothing donations from women living locally in the city. In fact, it is the local aspect of Bottomless Closet that distinguishes it from similar organizations such as Dress for Success. “We’re more grass roots. We’re happy being New York City based,” Farrell says.
Beyond just donating clothes, volunteers can work one-on-one with clients to assist in selecting that perfect outfit that will let them enter the interview with confidence. You can also participate in workshops, fundraising, mentoring, and inventory management. To learn more, visit Bottomless Closet’s volunteer page.
Quarterlette loves Bottomless Closet for both the opportunity to donate professional attire we’ve outgrown and its women-helping-women mantra.