We recently packed up over 60 bins filled with clothing, gear, feeding supplies, baby carriers, bedding, accessories, even halloween costumes, and brought them to a local homeless shelter. The Coachman Center in White Plains is one of many residences that Westhab operates. It has 100 units, all filled with families, many of whom with small kids and babies.
It took me and Viviana a solid week to organize everything and prep for the big day. I always get really anxious and I put tons of pressure on myself to make everything “perfect” (I hate that word) for the moms and kids. I’m a total wreck before, ask anyone. I put myself in the shoes of someone who has kids, is homeless and has school approaching. I try to imagine what I’d want. How I would want someone to treat me. The purpose of the pop-up “shop” model is to bring our inventory to our clients and give them a free shopping experience. Something they wouldn’t otherwise get.
So it was game day - I put on my new shirt, custom stitched and hand-delivered by Brooke of Monogram Mary, and I headed out the door to pick up my bestie, Julia. We drove from Bronxville to White Plains chatting about whatever silliness popped into our heads. Laughing about our kid’s recent escapades and discussing comedian Ali Wong. She took my mind off of what we were about to see and do in the way that only a best friend can do. I was calm and ready.
We met so many moms and their sweet kids and babies. I absolutely LOVE pop up shops for this reason. I get to connect with the moms and share our time, as mothers. I always say that motherhood is the universal equalizer and it’s true. My amazing volunteers from Bronxville lead very different lives on a day-to-day basis than the moms we were serving that day but our children brought us together. They’re our common denominator. No mater who you are or where you’re from, you love your kids and you want the very best for them. That is at the core of what we do. That is at the heart of every Bundle.
It brought me a lot of joy to meet our moms and to make them happy that morning. One mom cried on my shoulder because she was so grateful for the experience. Another mom, whom I won’t ever forget wrote me the most beautiful email after the event thanking me for what we do. I spent a lot of time with her, getting to know her story and meet her kids. She spent hours picking out clothes and her daughters had a blast! She told me they went back to their room and played “Bundles of Joy” setting up their own donations. I just burst into tears.
I recognize how lucky I am to be allowed into the lives of the people we serve. I am so grateful that people are willing to share their stories with me, let me hold their adorable babies, and tell me about their struggles, because we all have them. I always leave these events feeling humbled by their gratitude, grateful for my own circumstances, appreciative of all the opportunities I’ve been given and for all the help and support I’ve received along the way.
So that is a long way of saying THIS is what fills me the most and I want to do more pop-up events. I love being with the moms and babies - that’s where my heart is right now. We will definitely continue to fill orders the way we typically do but you’ll see more of these events and more opportunities to spend your time with us.