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Clothing Store

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe is a nonprofit organization focused on eliminating clothing insecurity. Keep reading below to learn about Olivia's experience volunteering at The Wardrobe in Delaware County.

About The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe is a nonprofit in Delaware County, Philadelphia, and surrounding counties that assists those of all backgrounds and gender identities to find clothing to accommodate all stages of life. They believe the right clothing for any and all occasions, from casual to workwear, is necessary to feel confident and successful! They address clothing insecurity for people experiencing barriers to independence and employment.

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My Experience Volunteering at The Wardrobe

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I have been volunteering with The Wardrobe since Spring of 2023. Volunteering at The Wardrobe helps me to practice goal-oriented tasks, social skills, and work-place behavior and skills. It makes me feel like I am part of my community. Some examples of tasks I complete include going through many bags of donations and examining what may be put on the store’s floor or put in recycling through the HELPSY organization. I also hang up clothing on racks to be tagged and put on the floor. 

The Wardrobe supports so many, myself included. Since volunteering there I have gained confidence and look forward to every shift. In our community, they bring people together in harmony to bring those who need it, a soft place to land. Free of judgment. The inclusion within this store brings people walking out more hopeful than they were prior to entering. Our neighborhood is so giving and donates all clothing in the store. The Wardrobe is an essential part of the county and within neighboring areas. Many neurodiverse individuals can most likely relate to being unable to find proper employment or may be uncomfortable in certain articles of clothing. They cater to every individual, style and otherwise.

Volunteering within the store, I have learned many life skills. For example, I have learned to ask questions when I am unsure of a task as well as proper work etiquette. I have learned about arriving on time, how to know where to help, and calculating the hours of my shift. The employees are patient and encourage me through their kindness to work on my skills when the opportunity presents itself.

Accessibility and Sensory Factors at The Wardrobe

As someone with sensory needs and preferences, I find that both the work at the Wardrobe and the store setting itself are very calming. As someone who has a ton of noise sensitivity, the area is rather quiet except for a few phones, typing on a keyboard, and soft jazz type music. 

In regards to light sensitivity, the store does have motion detector lights in some areas. Some people could find this startling, but you get used to it quickly. I find that the lights there aren’t too bright or fluorescent. I never noticed any type of noise coming from the lighting which is what I am sensitive with personally. The visual and auditory factors at The Wardrobe are usually the same, but if they do change sometimes, I know I am in a calming environment that will allow me to practice being flexible with change.

Employees are respectful of personal space and boundaries. I rarely bump into anyone unannounced. Sensory breaks are always respected and encouraged by staff. They never hurry anyone with a task and encourage any and all to truly take their time with each task. The jobs themselves don’t have to be completed that day. Sometimes there are lots of clothes to hang up or things to go through. When hours are completed an employee will stop in, excited to see progress!

Something important that I find extremely notable is that the Lansdowne location is near various bus stops and trolley stops for any and all who don’t drive and may take public transportation.

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Flourish Community Services is a Community Partner of The Wardrobe. Please go to The Wardrobe Website to learn more about this amazing organization!

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