One store in Yerushalayim is changing the lives of so many people. Haboydem, a thrift clothing store is a non-profit enterprise, run by husband and wife team, Guy and Eris Avihod. The store, dedicated on rehabilitation and integration, has been serving the community, for almost two years. Their two locations are centrally located in Jerusalem, for easy accessibility for all that need it.
One remarkable aspect of the store is who they employ. Their main goal is transitional employment, helping people who otherwise do not have the necessary skill set to find and retain normative employment. They have been extremely successful, with some two dozen graduates. They hire employees that have special issues, many relating to mental health, in order to help integrate them back into normal society. Each employee is designed a unique program by the in-staff occupational therapist. After the training period, they are guided as they seek a job in the free market. Since these employees are working alongside normative people, an important message is being sent out to the community at large, of normalcy and acceptance. Haboydem respects and values all individuals. This has proven to be a strong factor in the success of the project.
The store also serves as a community center, with social activities for single mothers, or student groups. The store doesn’t just remain on its premises all the time. On occasion, it is taken to the streets for the public to engage in fairs, events, and pop up stores. This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to witness the beauty and special needs of the workers.
The store provides clothing to those that truly need it. They aim to be trendy and fit into the worldwide model for second hand stores. Many of the clothes are donated as mostly second hand clothing – which are sorted and sifted to ensure quality. Just because someone may be on a limited budget doesn’t mean they can’t be dressed nicely, or feel dignified in the clothing they choose to wear. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, and many times that begins with the clothing on their back. It is understood that self esteem is a key factor for mental health, and they want everyone to shop in the store without feeling shame.
The clothing is priced very reasonably, with most items ranging from 10-50 shekels an item. Vouchers are handed out at certain specified locations so that the person shopping can redeem the voucher and shop in a dignified fashion, without stigma. They feel excited to shop in a trendy, upscale store. The more clients that shop, the better the rehabilitation for the employees.
Guy and Eris make their employees feel empowered and never look at their weaknesses – only at their strengths and what they have to offer. Kol Hakavod to this powerhouse team for being a guiding light to so many.
The store will be holding its second-annual fashion show this Friday, April 15th in the Tachana Rishona of Jerusalem (The Original Railway Station) from 11am-2pm. Everyone involved in the show is volunteering their time: the models, the makeup artists, the musicians, and all the behind the scenes workers. Join us, as we celebrate this non-profit organization which is making a difference in the world. May all business models pursue a path that helps the people that need the extra TLC.
Find HaBoydem on Facebook at Haboyedem Thrift Store .