by Melanie London

Some of us do not do well with uncertainty. And with all that’s happening in the world, all that has happened so quickly, uncertainty is all we have right now. About the future. About the present.

We have had to shut down all our pop-up shops. We’ve had to cancel all our sorting groups at the warehouse. This means that we’re not providing clothing and community for those that need it most. And we’re not working hard to get ready for pop-ups with volunteers committed to our mission. And while this is heartbreaking, it is for the larger and more all-encompassing mission of keeping our community, our world, healthy and thriving.

We’re getting plenty of work done: blog posts like this one, data gathering and analysis (fun!), organizing our files (trust me – that NEEDS to be done), catching up on emails we always seem to be behind on. Still, the work we do is deeply based in social interaction and human connection, and that is missing for all of us right now – the OC team, our shoppers, volunteers and host site partners. Living without the joy this connection brings at our pop-ups and sortings has been really difficult. We always say we have the best jobs, but that’s because of those we have the privilege of working for and working with. Without you it’s certainly not the same and we can’t wait until things get back to normal. Which they hopefully will.

But for now we live with the uncertainty of cancellations and postponements and lockdowns, and we try to do our best to stop the spread of this extremely contagious illness by staying at home and away from others as much as possible. And we strongly encourage you to do the same.

We don’t know what life will look like on the other side of this, but we can promise you that we will be here, ready to help, as much as we can. Please be well and know how much we miss you all, and how much we are thinking of you.

Please join us for our next pop-up shops at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 South 38th Street in University City, from 10am-12pm. They will take place on Thursday, May 26, and Thursday, June 30. You must show proof of vaccination at the door in order to enter and shop, and masks must be worn inside. We look forward to seeing you!

If you or a client of yours is in urgent need of clothing, we have an emergency clothing program for which you or the client may qualify. Please contact us at JFCS' Care Navigation line, 866-532-7669, if you are seeking emergency services, and you will be sent a form to fill out. Please remember this program is for emergencies only.

BIG NEWS: Our Closet has been chosen as a finalist for the city’s Community Champions Awards & Grants Challenge. The top vote-getters will receive $20,000 grants! These funds would allow us to reach even more Philadelphians in need, but we need your help. Online voting is from May 18-25, so please register, vote, & share far and wide to help us win: Vote Here!