We’re big fans of fashion outreach. After all, style has a lot to do with self-esteem and confidence. Lindsay Giambattista, 18, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, understands that, which is why she founded Taylor’s Closet, an organization that allows girls in foster care to come into a "store" and shop for clothes -- free of charge. We talked to Lindsay about how awesome that is. What made you want to start Taylor's Closet? I knew there were many girls who love clothes just as much as I do but who, due to circumstances beyond their control, might never get a chance to feel beautiful in a new outfit, or pick out their dream prom dress. I wanted to give these girls a great experience shopping for nice clothes, but even more importantly, it would all be absolutely free. I named it Taylor’s Closet, after my twin sister who died at birth.
How has TC expanded since its founding in 2005? We started out as only offering used clothes, but recently, so many designers have been donating their clothes that we switched to new -- now we have clothing that Macy’s carries!
What's your favorite TC memory? We took Taylor’s Closet to last summer to set up a temporary store for over 150 orphans. All the wanted me to tell them the story of the organization. So, with a translator, I told them basically everything: the history, my heart, how it works. There was this one kid who was really quiet. The whole day went by and later in the afternoon, he came up to me, put his hands on my shoulders, looked me straight in the eye, and started to cry. And he simply said, “You have no idea how much I am thankful. Every time I get sad, I will never be sad because of what you are doing.” He was so thankful that we could help his hurting people. I just about lost it. Every time I get a little weary, I think of that moment.
What can girls your age do in their own communities to create change like you have? Find something that is needed and fix it. Or, if you don’t really know the needs of your community (like I didn’t) look at life through the eyes of a less fortunate person. Ask yourself, "What would I need or want really bad, but could not in any possible way achieve or attain?"
We don't doubt it!