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Mentioning unmentionables with The Undies Project

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A few of the GJrUW members, from left: John Cataldo, Zoe Morris, Dylan Ofori, Joanne Delone, Chris Cataldo, Diego Jasson.

Some people used to call them “unmentionables,” and some still do: underwear. But, in Greenwich, a group of teenagers not only mentioned them but made a concerted effort to see to it that clean, fresh, new ones are made available to those in need.

The youngsters have been volunteering with The Greenwich Jr United Way (GJrUW) which was approached for help by a nonprofit called The Undies Project.

The inspiration to create The Undies Project came to Lucy Langley in 2014 while volunteering at Neighbor to Neighbor, a local nonprofit organization serving people in need in Port Chester and the Stamford and Greenwich areas. Langley and co-founder Laura Delaflor reached out to Greenwich United Way, which offered its junior members the opportunity to help raise awareness and funds for the project. 

During a weekly GJrUW meeting led by Program Coordinator Joanne Delone, teens learned that underwear is the most under-donated and most needed item of clothing. 

In a little over a month, the teens raised $1,000 to donate to The Undies Project, which provides new undergarments for distribution by about a dozen agencies, including four Greenwich United Way partners: Kids in Crisis, Neighbor to Neighbor, Pacific House Shelter and YWCA of Greenwich Domestic Abuse Service.

Greenwich Academy junior Zoe Morris said, “I have really enjoyed being part of the Greenwich Jr United Way because I have been able to gain a better understanding of the daily life and struggles of (some) Greenwich families.” 

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