Helping the Inland Northwest's Most Vulnerable Since 1896

Sabina's gift sparks special event for homeless teens

rare night of pampering inspired joy and confidence

It all began with an unusual phone call from Sabina Pinch. She had a donation, she told us, but she would like to bring it to our CEO in person. Before we knew it, Sabina and her husband Mark were bringing in box after box—each filled with designer clothing.

Considering the fact that for most of the women and girls accessing our shelters used clothing is the norm, these brand new clothes—and designer ones at that—would be a rare luxury indeed. As we began pulling the dresses and shirts from the boxes, it quickly became clear that this special donation called for a special celebration.

“Things that those of us with homes and jobs and families might take for granted can be miraculous for someone struggling to keep her head above water,” said Marilee Roloff, CEO of Volunteers of America, who accepted the clothing donation. “Sabina could have easily done something else with these beautiful clothes, but giving them to us meant we could provide an unforgettable experience for young homeless women.”

We called on a few friends from the community and quickly gathered donations of makeup, flowers, even fresh strawberries and a chocolate fountain and invited girls from Crosswalk for a special night they would not soon forget.

More than twenty young women came to pick out clothes, shoes and accessories. Ferris juniors Danielle Peterson & Sophie Rice-Sauer provided baby sitting for the girls with children. Each girl got a new make-up kit and staff gave basic how-to lessons. Stylists Gretchen Weikleenget and Jessica Wolff from Gretchen’s Salon along with volunteer Kari Grytdal offered hair styling and nail tech Tamara Noble pampered the girls with free manicures. Each girl left with a red rose and a renewed sense of confidence.

More than just putting clothes on the backs of the needy, donations like these clothes provide warmth for the human spirit, delivering hope and dignity to those who need it the most. “It made me feel very feminine,” said Adrienne (pictured with her sister Megan) of her experience at the party. “It was a blast. It was good to dress up ‘cause I don’t get to very often.”