Willenberg Special Education Center in San Pedro serves young adults with disabilities ages 18-22. Students are provided with real-world job experiences and daily living skills like cooking and laundry. Shelter Partnership has donated thousands of dollars’ worth of new clothing, toys, socks, bras, shoes, suits and dresses for prom to the school’s recently established Giving Room.
The Giving Room is set up like a store with clothes organized by size and style, everything is brand new and free to students. There is a seating area with a private dressing room so students and their families can have the full shopping experience. The Giving Room is also a work training program that teaches retail experience. Students assist with the donation pick-up, open the cases, inventory all of the items, and provide guidance to shoppers. All products are free.
“Often times fashion for the students is selected by the family. A visit to The Giving Room is an opportunity for choice by the student,” states Willenberg Principal Gavin Mirigliani. “When the students go to the Giving Room, their faces light up. These opportunities make a difference,” he adds.
Many students who attend Willenberg are dealing with multiple obstacles, including poverty. At Willenberg, 9 out of 10 students have experienced abuse by a caregiver in their lifetime. Fortunately, life at Willenberg is a safe space for youth of all abilities to thrive. For many, Willenberg is the most positive experience these students have experienced in their life.
A new outfit can provide students with dignity and self-esteem. Students and their families are able to take their time and have a positive shopping trip without the worry of cost since everything is free. Shelter Partnership is grateful to its many product donors that make places
like The Giving Room possible.