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.

UPDATE: We are thrilled to announce the reopening of our pop-up shops on Thursday, September 23 at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral (23 South 38th Street) from 10am-12pm. Due to the prevalence of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, you MUST show proof of vaccination to enter the pop-up and remained masked over your mouth and nose the entire time. This is for the safety of our community. All in need are welcome to shop at our pop-up shops, and, as always, shopping will be first-come, first-serve with limits on the amount of people who can shop at one time. More pop-ups for October and November will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

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.