How did this idea hit you? How did you begin?
We have been providing material assistance to single parents and their children for several years. We feel the need to help other vulnerable groups as well. Through the Clothing Bank we can also help the elderly and other target groups.
What were the initial hurdles that you faced?
The biggest obstacle was finding a suitable space for the Clothing Bank. We looked daily at offers from real estate agencies for renting non-residential space, we took several tours, but nothing was "just right". Everything happens in one place—receiving clothes from donors, sorting them, preparing them for dispatch to cooperating organisations and direct distribution of aid. We finally managed to find such a place in Prague's Troja district, right next to the zoo.
What would be the estimated number of people looking for pre-loved clothing and as charity in the Czech Republic?
After the opening of the Clothing Bank, we were expecting a large influx of requests for material aid, especially from individual applicants, but we really didn't expect what happened after the press conference. Within the first three days, hundreds of desperate people contacted us asking for help. Now the situation has stabilised at around 20 requests a day from individuals. In addition, we prepare hundreds of clothing packages each week for our cooperating organisations, especially food banks and shelters, which they regularly take to clients all over the country.
From which areas is the demand the most and why?
Our biggest customer in the whole country is the Džbánsko Food Bank, which distributes packages of clothes to people in need in the Ústí and Labem regions. There is also a huge demand for clothes from Prague and the Central Bohemia region.