Youth For Christ

Portland YFC Provides Local Youth with Essentials

June 1, 2022

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Portland YFC Creates Aspen + Gray

Youth For Christ (YFC) has spent over 77 years dedicated to helping every young person feel loved and accepted by coming alongside them during pivotal moments and building life-long relationships that ultimately point to Christ. After seeing a need for clean clothes among under-served teens in the area, Portland Youth For Christ (YFCPDX) leaders worked together to create Aspen + Gray.  This is a clothing closet that provides female youth with on-trend clothing and personal hygiene products for free.

Annie Clark, YFCPDX Campus Life Director, said, “We have set up the clothing closet to resemble a boutique rather than a clothing closet and make sure that students feel as though they are getting a personalized shopping experience. Girls can come and shop for clothing, hygienic items, accessories, or make-up — all for free. Over spring break, we handed out our 150th bag of clothing in just over a year of operation!”

 Aspen + Gray Importance

Studies have regularly shown that youth without access to clean, fresh clothing struggle in their relationships and frequently choose to be absent from class rather than attend school and face potential embarrassment. One school principal said, “If it’s a choice between coming to school dirty and have other students laugh at you or make fun of you, or staying home, they’ll stay home.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately one out of six students was chronically absent during the 2015-16 school year.  This means they missed more than 15 days of school for any reason. The study showed that absenteeism can impede a young person’s ability to learn and can lead older students to fail courses and become more likely to drop out.

Clark continued, “It’s so important to make these girls not only feel welcomed at Aspen + Gray, but also deeply valued. By treating them with respect and providing these vital resources, we build strong relationships with the youth in our area and open the door to important Gospel-inspired conversations.”

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