I received free entrance into the fall fashion event in Berkley, MI., in exchange for this post. Any opinions expressed here are honest and my own.
My daughter Kelly (Miss Redford Township Jr. Teen, 2018,) and myself, received the opportunity of attending the most worthwhile fall fashion event in Metro Detroit! Proceeds went to benefit needy women, children, and families in our community-with programs that include a playground for disabled children, court advocacy, bereavement counseling, ensuring people get registered to vote, back to school items for needy children in Detroit, and campaigns to prevent human trafficking.
Fall Showcase is an annual fashion fundraising event that was held on August 26, at Council Resale shop in Berkley. The event was operated by the National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan. Donated fall fashion items for women, men, and children, were sold to support the Council’s services.
We were invited in as VIP/special guests to take pictures of the event and even shop in support of this charitable cause. Here is a recent interview I had with the National Council of Jewish Women Co-President, Sandi Matz:
Lindsey–How did you get involved with the National Council of Jewish Women and can you tell us more about this awesome charitable organization?
Sandi-I first became involved in the National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan (NCJWMI) when my children all went to college. I had been a volunteer in the schools and I was looking for a new volunteer opportunity. A few of my friends suggested NCJWMI. This is a group of educated, bright, and compassionate women. I went to a few meetings, got involved in a project or two, and was hooked. I made many new friends, like – minded women, and together we work to make a difference in the lives of women, children, and families. NCJWMI recognizes a need in the community and finds a way to change lives and has been doing that for more than 127 years. We have a resale shop in Berkley that we are very proud of as the clothing and other items in the store are all donated by community members and all the proceeds go to support our community service projects. It is a win-win situation.
Lindsey–How would you describe the organization?
Sandi-The best way to describe this organization is that we are progressive women. We think for ourselves and make sure our voices are heard. While we are a Jewish organization, our work is not limited to Jewish people. We help the community at large. I always say we are the National Council OF Jewish Women, not the National Council FOR Jewish Women.
Lindsey-What are your organization’s most promising programs?
Sandi-Recently, we had a Back 2 School Store event. Over 400 volunteers came together in an elementary school in the city of Detroit to serve nearly 600 children. These are children that have been identified by social service agencies as “in need.” The children come to the store and are outfitted by personal shoppers (volunteers) for a new coat, hat, mittens, pants, shirts, shoes, socks, underwear, backpacks, school supplies and books, all at no cost. There is also a multi-faith health fair and legal aid services for the parents to participate in while their children shop. Everything is brand new, purchased by NCJWMI with funds obtained by grants, corporate donations, and personal donations. We also have a backpack project where 1200 homeless Oakland County children receive full backpacks with supplies for the school year, as well as 300 Jewish children who have been identified in need by Jewish Family Services. Nearly 150 volunteers come together over a 2-day period to pack the backpacks. Everything is new, purchased by NCJWMI with funds from corporate and personal donations as well as grants.
Lindsey-How has your program improved over time?
Sandi-Both the Back 2 School Store and Backpack projects have grown from year to year and increased the number of children we serve. We are fortunate to have been able to grow the number of children served through increased grant writing, our successful fundraising campaigns, and our resale store.
Lindsey-What do you personally, spend most of your time on?
Sandi-Personally, I spend a lot of my time reaching out to the community and making new connections for NCJWMI. I spend many days in our office doing whatever it takes to spread the word about the good work we do at NCJWMI.
Thank you to Sandi for taking time out of your busy schedule for answering questions about your amazing organization!
Below are some other pics we took from the event: