BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Seven years ago, Jackie Simons and Donna Whitlock were strangers, but now they’re the best of friends after volunteering at YWCA’S My Sister’s Closet.
My Sister’s Closet is a low cost women’s boutique on Birmingham’s 3rd Avenue North that is filled with donated items. There are suits, dresses and casual wear along with shoes, purses and jewelry. My Sister’s Closet has everything a woman might need, but might not be able to afford.
Most of the customers are referred by various agencies. Those customers could be homeless, or perhaps a survivor of domestic violence, or maybe someone who has lost everything in a house fire. There are also women just looking for a bargain.
The YWCA runs this shop for everyone, and Jackie and Donna are in the back room making sure it runs smoothly. They volunteer every Tuesday and do everything from sorting donated items, to pricing them, to helping a customer put together a great outfit.
Donna Whitlock says it’s a joy to help. “You treat them like a friend and help them pick out something. It’s very rewarding,” she said.
Donna volunteered in the footsteps of her daughter, who also worked at My Sister’s Closet following her own experience with domestic violence.
Jackie Simons brings her 40 years of experience as a teacher and administrator to the job. After her retirement she knew she had more to offer.
“I think we have an obligation to do something for other people, and this is how I choose to do it because I like it. It’s fun,” Jackie said.
Donna is a retired nurse who brings the same commitment to the job. Together she and Jackie are wise mentors who know a little guidance goes a long way.
“That reward that you helped a child, a mother, someone coming out of prison dress for a job interview. You can’t buy that feeling. That’s how I feel when I leave here. That’s how good it makes me feel," Donna said.
“You just feel like you’ve done something good for somebody else," said Jackie.
If you’d like to volunteer at My Sister’s Closet, you can do so at this link.
Remember, you can also nominate someone you know who is “Doing Good” at this link.