I have two young sons only a couple of years apart, so hand-me-downs flow constantly from the older to the younger. Even so, Catie and I have always been surprised at how many clothes, shoes, and other items make their way through both our boys and are still perfectly usable, only now too small for anyone in our family. Throwing things like that away is not an option. So what’s the best way to make sure that another child can still use them?

The Sharing Shelf is a program of Family Services of Westchester that collects new and gently used clothing and basic supplies for newborns, infants, and children all the way through age 18. They sort clothing by size, season, and gender, and then distribute packages to children in need through social service agencies, teachers, and religious leaders. In just the past year, the Sharing Shelf has served more than 1,000 children, all at no cost to their families.

Right now, the Sharing Shelf is asking for donations to help meet the large demand for back-to-school clothing. They are looking for new and gently used items — particularly in sizes 4T through YXL (14/16) — like T-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweaters; pants and sweatpants; fall jackets and winter coats; sturdy fall and winter shoes, snow boots, and rain boots. Clothing should be clean and free of stains or rips. (For more information about what items they accept, please check this list on their website.)

Additionally, the Sharing Shelf is always looking for volunteers to help sort and package clothing in their warehouse in New Rochelle. They are open most weekdays, and will be open this year on 9/11 from 10am to 1pm for those wishing to join them for the national day of service.

If you are interested in donating clothing or volunteering, please contact Deborah Blatt at thesharingshelf@fsw.org or (914) 937-2320 x 148.